Jaden Schwartz scores

St. Louis forward Jaden Schwartz celebrates after scoring against the Blackhawks on Thursday. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune / April 17, 2014)

The Blackhawks opened their defense of the Stanley Cup on Thursday, and waiting for them in the first round was rival St. Louis. Let's just say given how much they dislike each other, blood on the ice will be the furthest thing from a surprise. In honor of Hawks forward Brandon Bollig, a St. Louis native known for dropping the gloves, we tracked Game 1 boxing-style.

FIRST PERIOD

>> Adam Cracknell breaks through with a tap-in garbage goal five minutes in. Taunts of "Craw-ford" rain down on the Hawks goalie. So much for these two feeling each other out.

>> Johnny Oduya ties it by tipping in a Kris Versteeg shot. Blues are backing off a bit.

>> Brent Seabrook puts the Hawks ahead, driving one off the post and in. Powerful combination from the defensemen.

>> Patrick Sharp cross-checks Kevin Shattenkirk for no good reason, drawing a penalty. Call it hockey's version of a kidney punch.

>> Welcome back, Patrick Kane! Mr. Mullet beats Ryan Miller on a breakaway. Solid knockdown for the visitors. Miller barely even moved.

Score: Blackhawks 3, Blues 2

 

SECOND PERIOD

>> Blues goalie Ryan Miller is "cheered" for making a routine save. The home crowd is turning on him already!

>> Early in the period, the Blackhawks whale away with shots on Miller, only to get turned away each time. It's like the Blues were reaching for the ropes, hoping the ref would pull the Hawks off them.

>> Uh oh. Now it's the Blues throwing haymakers. Fortunately for Chicago fans, none of them do any damage thanks to Crawford and a stout defense.

Score: Blackhawks 3, Blues 2

 

THIRD PERIOD

>> BOOOOOOOM! Niklas Hjalmarsson rocks David Backes into the boards. Speaks for itself.

>> Boxers' gloves hardly get any recognition. Not the case in hockey. Crawford's came to the rescue late—twice.

>> Ugh. Jaden Schwartz gut-punches Chicago fans with a backhander past Crawford. We've got overtime.

Score: Blackhawks 3, Blues 3

 

OVERTIME

>> Alexander Bleeping Steen. That’s how Hawks fans will remember the guy who delivered the knockout blow in triple overtime. On to Game 2.

Final score: Blues 4, Blackhawks 3

 

 

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