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updated: 4/22/2014 6:51 PM

Blues have been there, done that in first round

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  • Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, a second from left, celebrates his goal with Patrick Kane next to St. Louis Blues goalie Ryan Miller during the first period in Game 3 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series game Monday in Chicago.

      Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, a second from left, celebrates his goal with Patrick Kane next to St. Louis Blues goalie Ryan Miller during the first period in Game 3 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series game Monday in Chicago.
    Associated Press

 
 

It's almost eerie how similar the start of this year's series with the Blackhawks compares to how last year's opening series against the Kings kicked off for the Blues.

In the opening game of both series, Alexander Steen scored the game-winning goal.

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In Game 2 of both series, that honor went to Barret Jackman as the Blues jumped out to a 2-0 series lead.

Then in Game 3 last year, the Blues fell to the Kings and would eventually drop four straight.

On Monday, the Blues fell to the Hawks in Game 3 and ...

The Blues don't even want to go there.

"Within our walls, I don't think anybody's thinking about last year," Jackman said. "The media comes in and you get all the comparisons -- the same guys are scoring, the same scores -- but really it's about what we're doing right now.

"We're playing good hockey. We're playing against a team that is very hungry and has a lot of experience, so we've just got to go out there. I don't think anybody's really thinking about exactly what happened last year and comparisons to this year."

Looking for answers:

The Blackhawks are 1-for-14 on the power play this series.

Is that because the St. Louis penalty kill is so stellar, or is it just that the Hawks' power play is struggling?

"A little bit of both," Patrick Kane said. "They do a good job of blocking shots and pressuring up ice and different things.

"Our entries have been pretty good, we've been getting the puck in the zone probably as well as you want, but when we do get there, we can probably have a little more movement, and once we get shots through, hopefully we can create some traffic.

"All the ideas are right, but the production really hasn't been there, so we'll try to pick that up."

As bad as the Hawks have been, the Blues have been worse -- going 1-for-16. But coach Ken Hitchcock sees those numbers in a half-full way.

"I look at it that goal we got, that won us a hockey game," he said. "(Our power play) got us a big, timely goal, so that's all I'm looking at."

He said it:

"I'll tell you what, it's tougher watching on TV than it is when you're actually playing. It's a lot more stressful when you're sitting there watching and just kind of hoping the guys get it done. There's nothing you can really do."

-- Hawks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank, who picked up an assist Monday in his first action of the playoffs.

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