St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks

Get your game notes: Blues at Blackhawks


Tonight on CNBC, it’s the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the St. Louis Blues starting at 8:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— St. Louis has won both games in this series in overtime after coming back to tie the score late in the 3rd period (1:45 left in Game 1, 6.4 seconds left in Game 2). On Saturday in Game 2, Vladimir Tarasenko scored the tying goal and Barret Jackman tallied the game-winner at 5:50 of overtime. The comebacks mark just the third time in Stanley Cup Playoffs history that a team has won consecutive games in one series when trailing in the final two minutes of regulation in each contest. The Blues join the Canadiens in Games 1 and 2 against the Bruins in the 1969 Semifinals (won series in 6 gms) and the Flyers in Games 3 and 4 against the Maple Leafs in the 1977 Quarterfinals (won series in 6 gms). (Elias Sports Bureau)

— Brent Seabrook will not play in Game 3, 4 or 5 (if necessary) – the Blackhawks defensemen was suspended yesterday (on his 29th birthday) for 3 games – his first career suspension – for his hit on David Backes late in the 3rd period in Game 2. He was ejected from the game, while Backes went to the locker room as well and did not return. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said Backes would not have been able to play if Game 3 was yesterday; his status for this game is yet to be determined. Backes was injured back in December, missing a total of 5 games. Although that December ailment was officially diagnosed as an upper-body injury, he was out with concussion-like symptoms initially suffered from a hit taken in a game against Ottawa on Dec. 16.

— The Blues are now 6-1 all-time vs. the ‘Hawks in playoff OT games. They also earned their 6th straight postseason win over Chicago improving to 10-1 in their last 11 playoff meetings dating back to 1993.

— The Blues have won 10 of their previous 11 postseason series when taking a 2-0 advantage. Their lone loss in that situation came last year, falling to LA in 6 games in the WCQF. Chicago has not been down 0-2 since they trailed VAN in the first round of the 2010-‘11 postseason – they were also the defending Stanley Cup champs that season and went on to lose that series in 7 games.

— All 3 Blackhawks goals in Game 2 were by defensemen: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook & Michal Rozsival. Chicago’s 3 leading scorers in the regular season – Patrick Sharp (78 pts.), Patrick Kane (69) & Jonathan Toews (68) – were each held without a point in Game 2.

— Kevin Shattenkirk tallied 1 goal & 2 assists in Game 2 to become the first Blues defenseman to record 3 pts. in a playoff game since April 24, 1999, when Al MacInnis notched 1G-2A–3PTS against the Coyotes in Game 2 of the WCQF. (Elias Sports Bureau)

— Vladimir Tarasenko returned for the Blues in Game 1 after missing 15 games with a broken right thumb & scored his first career playoff goal. With his 2nd career playoff goal in Game 2 (in his 3rd career playoff game), Tarasenko now has scored in 4 straight games that he’s played in dating back to March 13th of the regular season & has 8 points during a personal 7-game point streak dating back to March 8th.

— After losing 9 of their last 10 games away from the United Center dating back to March 12th of the regular season, Chicago returns home where it’s won 4 straight and 7 of its last 8. The Blackhawks went 27-7-7 at home during the regular season and 11-2 at home last postseason.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

Goalie nods: Jones makes Sharks debut against ex-Kings mates

Martin Jones
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News and notes from around the crease…

Jones goes for San Jose

Martin Jones, acquired by the Sharks this summer, will make his first regular-season start for the club tonight against his old team — the Los Angeles Kings.

Jones, 25, spent the last two years in L.A. as Jonathan Quick‘s understudy. He was flipped to Boston at the NHL Entry Draft, then shipped to San Jose. Sharks GM Doug Wilson wasted little time locking Jones in — signing him to a three-year, $9 million extension — and Jones wasted little time locking up the No. 1 gig, putting together a stellar preseason.

For the Kings, Quick will get the start in goal.

Markstrom out for Vancouver

Jacob Markstrom wasn’t scheduled to start for the Canucks tonight — No. 1 Ryan Miller is getting the call — but the Swedish ‘tender won’t even dress when his club takes on the Flames in Calgary.

Markstrom suffered a lower-body injury at practice this week and is being held out of tonight’s action. In his place, the Canucks called up AHL netminder Richard Bachman, who’ll serve as Miller’s backup.

For the Flames, Karri Ramo is the opening-night starter.


Habs at Leafs: Carey Price vs. Jonathan Bernier

Rangers at ‘Hawks: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Corey Crawford