ST. LOUIS - It was a pass from David Backes toward Alexander Steen that deflected off a Blackhawk skate in front on the net and through Corey Crawford’s legs that sent the Blues to a 1-0 series lead in overtime against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
“I grabbed it and threw it in front and saw it hit a skate and you see it disappear,” Backes said describing his goal. “You say a quick prayer. It was answered when I saw it go in the net.”
The goal was just the 18th shot and second of the overtime the Blues were able to get through to Crawford. Chicago was able to hold them to four or less shots on goal in two and a half of the periods played.
“It was a team victory,” Backes added. “We knew it was going to take a team effort. We did a good job of getting momentum on the power play. We did a good job of stifling their power play and their offense on their 5-on-3. Everybody was doing the right things, playing the right way.”
On the other end of the ice Brian Elliott was spectacular. He turned away all 35 shots including quality chances from Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin to earn his first solo shutout in the postseason. He shared a shutout with Jaroslav Halak in 2012 against the Sharks.
“Elliott was phenomenal,” the captain continued. “He has been all year, whenever he’s been called upon. I got the number one star somehow but I don’t know who was picking that. Maybe my mom. But Elliott kept us in there long enough for us to find a way to win.”
And just as Elliott has done all season he gave all the credit to the guys in front of him.
“This team everybody plays a role and guys played it to a tee tonight,” said Elliott. “I think obviously you want to score a lot of goals and get up early but games are going to be close like this. To be able to battle it out and keep grinding and not get down on ourselves at certain times I think that shows our character.”
The worst part for Elliott? He didn’t get the see the winning shot.
“I didn’t see it go in,” Elliott laughed. “I just saw the red light and everybody celebrating so I just decided to skate down.”
Wednesday’s game was the fourth straight playoff matchup between the Hawks and Blues to go to overtime with St. Louis coming out victorious in three. No matter how elated the team feels about taking advantage of home ice, Backes said the team can only celebrate until the day is over before turning their focus to Game 2.
“We'll enjoy this until midnight and we've got to refocus because we've up 1-0 against this team before. You know you don't stop, you don't quit. And we have to have the same mentality. This is task one put away and we'll worry about the next one Friday night.”
Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday night at Scottrade Center.