This could be the best series in the entire Stanley Cup playoffs. The defending champion Chicago Blackhawks (47-26-9) have drawn the St. Louis Blues (49-24-9) in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Game 1 is Wednesday night at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, starting at 9:30 PM ET on NBCSN.
Although the Blues finished the 2015-2016 regular season with the better record, Chicago skates into the playoffs with shorter odds on the Stanley Cup futures market. The Hawks are the second-favorites at +800 (along with LA, Anaheim, Dallas and Pittsburgh), a step ahead of St. Louis at +1000. These two teams faced each other five times during the regular season; the Blues won three games, with the total split evenly at 2-2-1.
Chicago will be without defenseman Duncan Keith (nine goals, 43 points) for Wednesday's opener. The two-time Norris Trophy winner has one game left to go in his six-game suspension for hitting Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle in the face with his stick. The Hawks also have a number of players listed as questionable for Game 1, including top-line centre Artem Anisimov (20 goals, 42 points) and second-line right wing Marian Hossa (13 goals, 33 points). The Blues will have all their key players available Wednesday.
NHL : Blues Host Blackhawks in Playoff Opener
The St. Louis Blues (49-24-9) had a better regular season than the Chicago Blackhawks (47-26-9), and they'll have home-ice advantage Wednesday night when these two teams meet in Game 1 of their Western quarterfinal. NBCSN has the coverage beginning at 9:30 PM ET.
Duncan Keith (nine goals, 43 points) will not be on the blue line for Chicago. Keith is serving the last game of a six-game suspension. The Hawks could also be without centre Artem Anisimov (20 goals, 42 points) and right wing Marian Hossa (13 goals, 33 points), both listed as questionable for Wednesday's opener.