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posted: 4/19/2014 1:01 AM

Versteeg beat Miller, but it wasn't enough

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  • Chicago Blackhawks' Kris Versteeg (23) scores past St. Louis Blues goalie Ryan Miller and Blues' Alex Pietrangelo (27) during the first period in Game 1 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series Thursday, April 17, 2014, in St. Louis.

      Chicago Blackhawks' Kris Versteeg (23) scores past St. Louis Blues goalie Ryan Miller and Blues' Alex Pietrangelo (27) during the first period in Game 1 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series Thursday, April 17, 2014, in St. Louis.

 

ST. LOUIS -- Kris Versteeg thought he had it.

Virtually everyone else in the Scottrade Center thought so, too.

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But even though Versteeg's shot in the final minutes of overtime beat Blues goalie Ryan Miller, it didn't turn out to be the game-winner because St. Louis forward Maxim Lapierre was playing the role of goalie No. 2 and blocked it from going in.

"That was a bit of a late bedtime because you do think about the what ifs," Versteeg admitted the day after. "You did everything you wanted to do. It was a great pass (from Jonathan Toews) and the shot was going in, and unfortunately it did hit him."

And though it looked like Versteeg had raised his arms in celebration after his shot, the veteran forward insisted that wasn't the case.

"It wasn't a celebration," he said. "It was more of, 'What the heck just happened?' My hands went in the air like, 'Are you kidding me?'

"You just put it behind you. In the morning, you don't think about it anymore."

Iron man:

Aside from the referees and the linesmen, the two guys who were probably more worn out than most Friday had to be goalies Corey Crawford and the Blues' Ryan Miller, who were on the ice the entire time in Thursday's marathon.

How do goalies stay focused for so long in a game with such incredible implications?

"You want to be able to save energy at certain points in the game that maybe you wouldn't through 60 minutes," said Crawford, who turned away 48 shots in just over 100 minutes of action.

"When the puck's in the zone and there's not really a danger for a shot and an opportunity, maybe I'm resting or standing up and conserving a little bit, whereas during a regular 60 minutes I'm crouched down and prepared for anything."

Oshie update:

Blues forward T.J. Oshie, who didn't play in the opener, is still a question mark for Saturday's matinee.

"Until someone taps me on the shoulder and says he's a game player, he's out," coach Ken Hitchcock said.

Oshie's teammates remain hopeful the veteran winger can return for Game 2.

"He's a guy that would have a few days of rest (going) into a series which has had a lot guys that have played some big minutes in the last 36 hours," David Backes said. "It'll be a jolt to the arm if he's in.

"If not, we've proven that we can win if he's not in the lineup."

That's incredible:

A couple of the more outrageous numbers from Game 1:

Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson played a game-high 61 shifts and was credited with 6 blocked shots.

Blues goalie Ryan Miller allowed 3 goals on the first 7 shots he faced and then stopped the next 35.

He said it:

"No, I'd rather have a breakaway and try to score than skate around the ice and do nothing."

-- Patrick Sharp, asked if he tosses and turns about failed breakaway chances

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