ST. LOUIS (AP) — Troy Brouwer tapped in his own rebound to snap a third-period tie and the St. Louis Blues advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, eliminating the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in Game 7 of their Western Conference quarterfinals series Monday night.
Brouwer, who played for the Blackhawks’ Cup winner in 2010 and was among the veteran additions to a team trying to break through, swiped in a backhander. The goal at 8:31 was his first in 24 postseason games since 2013.
Chicago just missed a chance to tie it when Brent Seabrook’s shot went off both posts with about 3:30 left.
It is the first time the Blues advanced past the first round since 2012, when they beat San Jose in five games but then lost four straight to Los Angeles. Jori Lehtera scored his first career playoff goal and rookie defenseman Colton Parayko also scored for the Blues.
Marian Hossa scored his third goal of the series and Andrew Shaw got his fourth on a power play for the Blackhawks.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — James Neal scored the winning goal late in the second period, and the Nashville Predators held on to beat the Anaheim Ducks and force the first Game 7 in franchise history.
The Predators had lost the previous five Game 6s when needing a win to stay alive in the playoffs, and they snapped a three-game skid to the Ducks to force this series back to Anaheim for the deciding game Wednesday night.
Shea Weber had an empty-net goal with 10 seconds left off an assist by Neal. Mattias Ekholm also scored a goal, and Pekka Rinne made 26 saves for the win.
Ryan Kesler scored a power-play goal for the Ducks, who now are 8-6 in Game 6s. They return to Anaheim where they lost their last Game 7 last spring in the Western Conference finals to eventual Stanley Cup champ Chicago.