ST. LOUIS — David Backes scored at 9:04 of overtime on a shot that deflected off a Chicago Blackhawks defenceman, and the St. Louis Blues took the series opener 1-0 over the defending Stanley Cup champions on Wednesday night.
Brian Elliott earned his first career playoff shutout. Elliott, who led the NHL with a .930 save percentage, made 35 saves to thwart a lineup led by scoring champion Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. He made just his second playoff start in three seasons off an impressive finish, going 11-1 in his final 14 starts.
The Blues had 10 shutouts during the regular season, seven of them on the road. Jake Allen had six of the shutouts.
St. Louis cruised into the post-season with the third-best record in the NHL, winning eight of its last 10 games.
The Blues opened their previous series against the Blackhawks with a pair of overtime victories, with Alexander Steen getting the winner in triple overtime in the opener. But Chicago won the last four, two in overtime.
The Blackhawks were 4-1 in overtime last season in the playoffs, including a double-overtime win at Nashville in Game 1 of their opening series.
This was the Blues’ first 1-0 playoff game since losing May 4, 2013, in Game 3 of the first round at Los Angeles, and their first 1-0 overtime playoff game since April 8, 2004, a loss in Game 1 of the first round at San Jose.
The Blues were at full strength for the first time all season after Backes and Allen were cleared from lower-body injuries.
Elliott had the best save in the first two periods, stopping Toews on a breakaway near the midway point.
Blues penalty killers were busy in the scoreless first period, surviving three minors in a span of 3:32 and 36 seconds of a two-man advantage. The Blackhawks had an 11-4 advantage in shots, but St. Louis had several good chances that missed the net.
NOTES: The Blues are 32-29 in playoff overtime games, including 24-12 at home. The Blackhawks are 54-43-2 and 24-25-1 on the road. … Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith served the final game of a six-game suspension for high-sticking. … Chicago has 73 playoff victories since 2009, most in the NHL. … Blackhawks F Andrew Ladd, who had returned to Chicago to be with his pregnant wife, made it back in time to play.