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Blues and Avalanche win overtime contests Rangers, Sharks power through game 1

ST. LOUIS, April 18, (AP): Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night. Steen beat Corey Crawford off a pair of short passes from Steve Ott and David Backes to cap the longest overtime game in franchise history. Ryan Miller blanked the Blackhawks after Patrick Kane scored on a breakaway to put Chicago up 3-2 late in the first period and Jaden Schwartz tied it with 1:45 to go in regulation. Both teams face a short turnaround with Game 2 Saturday afternoon. The Blues’ previous longest overtime game was a 4-3 loss at Detroit in 1984 that extended 37 minutes, 7 seven seconds. The home record for a playoff overtime game was 33:49 extra time in a 5-4 win over Chicago on April 20, 1989.

St. Louis had to kill off delay-of-game penalties for shooting the puck into the stands in the first two overtimes. The Blackhawks killed a holding penalty in the second overtime. Jonathan Toews, like Kane back from a lengthy injury absence, had two assists for Chicago. Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko and Adam Cracknell all scored their first playoff goal for the Blues. Ryan Miller allowed three goals on just seven shots in the first with defensemen Johnny Oduya and Brent Seabrook also scoring for Chicago.

Avalanche 5, Wild 4, OT
In Denver, Paul Stastny scored 7:27 into overtime after tying the game with 13.4 seconds remaining in regulation, lifting Colorado over Minnesota in the opener of the Western Conference quarterfinals.
Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn also added goals for Colorado in Patrick Roy’s postseason debut behind the bench.
The Hall of Fame goaltender led the Avalanche to two Stanley Cup titles as a player.
Erik Haula, Charlie Coyle, Ryan Suter and Kyle Brodziak scored for the Wild.
Game 2 is Saturday.
Stastny beat Ilya Bryzgalov with a close-in wrist shot in overtime, the same type of play Stastny used to tie the game in regulation.
Roy made a bold move with 3:01 remaining, pulling Semyon Varlamov for an extra skater. Erik Johnson saved a potential empty-net goal with over a minute left as he raced down the ice and slapped away the puck just before it crossed the goal line.
Moments later, Stastny beat Bryzgalov with a shot over his shoulder ó the capacity crowd erupted.
 

Rangers 4, Flyers 1
In New York, Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart in the third period, and New York beat Philadelphia in the playoff opener to stretch its home-winning streak over the rival Flyers to nine games.
The teams were locked in a 1-1 tie when Jason Akeson – playing in just his third career NHL game – was given a double high-sticking penalty for clipping Rangers forward Carl Hagelin with 7:35 remaining.
New York quickly took advantage.
Richards gave the Rangers their first lead of the night when a rebound of Martin St. Louis’ shot came to him, and he fired it in from the right circle, punctuating the moment with an emphatic fist pump at 8:22.
Richards and St. Louis hooked up again to help set up Stepan’s insurance goal. New York worked the puck around the Philadelphia end, and Richards faked a drive. He instead sent a hard pass to Stepan for a shot into the open left side.
Defenseman Andrew MacDonald had given the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the first, but the Rangers answered with Mats Zuccarello’s goal.
Hagelin pushed New York’s edge to 4-1 with 4:08 left in the game.

Shark 6, Kings 3
San Jose, Calif, Tomas Hertl and Raffi Torres both scored in their first game together as teammates and San Jose jumped on top of Jonathan Quick and rival Los Angeles with a victory in its playoff opener.
Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic also scored for the Sharks, who managed just 10 goals against Quick in losing a seven-game series to Los Angeles in the second round last year. Antti Niemi made 31 saves.
Quick allowed three goals in the first period for the first time in his playoff career, including two in the final minute as the Kings were completely outclassed.
Game 2 is Sunday in San Jose.
Quick was replaced by Martin Jones after allowing five goals on 28 shots in two periods and only watched as the Kings showed life in the third period with goals from Jake Muzzin, Slava Voynov and Trevor Lewis.
But Brent Burns sealed it with an empty-net goal as the home team won for the 17th time in the past 18 meetings between these teams.

Results
Results from the NHL Play-offs Quarterfinal games on Thursday:
    1    2    3    T
NY Rangers    1    0    3    4
Philadelphia    1    0    0    1
(NY Rangers lead the best-of-seven series by 1-0)
    1    2    3    OT    T
Colorado    1    1    2    1    5
Minnesota    1    3    0    0    4
(Colorado lead the best-of-seven series by 1-0)
    1    2    3    OT    T
St. Louis    2    0    1    1    4
Chicago    3    0    0    0    3
(St. Louis lead the best-of-seven series by 1-0)
    1    2    3    T
San Jose    3    2    1    6
Los Angeles    0    0    3    3
(San Jose lead the best-of-seven series by 1-0)

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