ST. LOUIS – Jonathan Toews caught the St. Louis Blues’ defense napping after the Chicago Blackhawks got a lucky carom.
Just like that, the puck was in the net and the defending Stanley Cup champions were in command of the first-round series.
“I wasn’t even sure where their D-men were,” Toews said after scoring at 7:36 of overtime to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 victory Friday night and a 3-2 series lead. “Just got going as fast as I could. Take advantage of a chance.”
Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford stopped a shot by David Backes, defenseman Duncan Keith cleared the puck and the rebound deflected off Andrew Shaw’s shin pad all the way to the Chicago captain alone at center ice off a change. Toews sped in with two defensemen in futile pursuit and threw a few fakes at goalie Ryan Miller before slipping a backhander into the net.
“I was just saying to some of the guys in the other room, I’m trying to get the puck out of the zone and all of a sudden it lands on his stick,” Keith said. “Couldn’t believe it. So, I was pretty happy seeing that.”
St. Louis defenseman Roman Polak saw Toews coming off the bench but reasoned that the Blues had control, so he left the ice about the same time Backes was shooting. Replacement Jay Bouwmeester never had a chance and Toews also got behind Jordan Leopold.
“It was a lucky bounce or something,” Polak said. “It was just a lucky bounce.”
Flyers 2, Rangers 1
In Philadelphia, Steve Mason stopped 37 shots in his first start of the series, Matt Read and Jakub Voracek scored and Philadelphia beat New York to tie the first-round matchup 2-2.
Ray Emery had started the first three games for Mason, who was out with an upper-body injury.
Ducks 6, Stars 2
In Anaheim, Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists in his return from injury, and the Ducks scored four power-play goals.
Getzlaf became the franchise’s career postseason scoring leader with a dynamic performance that betrayed no problems from his undisclosed upper-body injury — except maybe, he acknowledged, on a horrendous first-period giveaway to Jamie Benn for Dallas’ first goal.