CHICAGO – Bryan Bickell scored in overtime on a two-on-one rush, and the Chicago Blackhawks started the playoffs on a winning note after dominating the regular season, beating the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Corey Crawford settled down after allowing a weak goal in the opening minutes. Marian Hossa also scored, and the Blackhawks took the early lead in this first-round series. Game 2 is Friday at the United Center.
The Blackhawks finally put this one away when Johnny Oduya chipped the puck off the boards to Viktor Stahlberg on the right side. Stahlberg then dished it to Bickell on the two-on-one rush in front for the winner.
Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom was a late scratch from the lineup because of a leg injury.
Backstrom appeared to injure his left leg reaching for a puck during pregame warmups and headed to the locker room. He was replaced in the lineup by Josh Harding.
BLUES 2, KINGS 1, OT: In St. Louis, Alex Steen stole the puck from goalie Jonathan Quick behind the net and scored a short-handed goal to give as St. Louis ended an eight-game losing streak against the team that swept them in the second round last spring.
Steen scored unassisted on a backhander at 13:26 of overtime less than a minute after Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk was whistled for a double-minor high sticking when he cut Dustin Penner.