Blues vs. Blackhawks
Blues Leading Regular Season Scorer: Alexander Steen (right), 62 points (33 goals, 29 assists).
Blackhawks Leading Regular Season Scorer: Patrick Sharp, 78 points (34 goals, 44 assists).
Blues Expected Starting Goaltender: Ryan Miller, 25-30-4, 2.64 GAA, .922 SV%.
Blackhawks Expected Starting Goaltender: Corey Crawford, 32-16-10, 2.26 GAA, .917 SV%.
Blues Regular Season Statistics
Blackhawks Regular Season Statistics
Blues Injuries: Centers David Backes ("lower body"), Patrik Beglund (shoulder), Vladimir Sobotka (undisclosed), left winger Brenden Morrow (foot) and right winger T.J. Oshie (head) are questionable. Right winger Vladimir Tarasenko (hand) is out.
Blackhawks Injuries: Center Jonathan Toews ("upper body") is probable. Right winger Patrick Kane (left leg) and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin (shoulder) are on injured reserve.
Blues with Stanley Cup bling: None.
Blackhawks with Stanley Cup bling: Bryan Bickell, LW; Brandon Bollig, LW; Sheldon Brookbank, D; Corey Crawford, G; Michal Handzus, C; Niklas Hjalmarsson, D; Marian Hossa RW; Patrick Kane, RW; Duncan Keith, D; Nikolai Khabibulin, G; Marcus Kruger, C; Nick Leddy, D; Johnny Oduya, D; Michal Rozsival D; Brandon Saad, LW; Brent Seabrook, D; Patrick Sharp, LW; Andrew Shaw, C; Ben Smith, RW; Jonathan Toews, C; Kris Versteeg, LW.
Something worthwhile about the Blues: The Blues had a penalty kill percentage of 85.7 percent this past regular season, best among any team in the postseason.
Something worthwhile about the Blackhawks: The Blackhawks had an average of 8.5 penalty minutes per game this regular season, lowest among any team in the postseason.
Something useless about the Blues that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins goaltender Brent Johnson holds the Blues' record for most consecutive postseason shutouts. He had three straight shutouts against the Blackhawks a 2002 Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Blackhawks.
Something useless about the Blackhawks that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The postseason first hat trick scored against the Penguins was by Blackhawks left winger Bobby Hull in a 6-5 win by the Blackhawks in Game 4 of a 1972 quarterfinal series.
Former Penguins on the Blues: Ty Conklin, goalie development coach; Jordan Leopold, D; Brenden Morrow, LW.
Former Penguins on the Blackhawks: Dennis Bonvie, professional scout; Marian Hossa (right), RW; Norm Maciver, assistant general manager; Michal Rozsival, D.
Who needs to be the difference for the Blues: Ryan Miller. Throughout the history of the Blues, they have never truly had a franchise goaltender capable of carrying the team to the Stanley Cup. Miller was brought in to St. Louis to do that. Arguably, no player in the playoffs has higher expectations placed upon him.
Who needs to be the difference for the Blackhawks: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Nick Leddy, Niklas Hjalmarsson, etc. The Blues are an aggressive team on the forecheck and like to make life miserable for opposing defensemen. Chicago's battle-tested defensemen will need to withstand the constant assault they will be under in this series.
Best Blues YouTube Video We Could Find: Blues center Craig Janney scoring a series-clinching overtime goal in a 4-3 win against the Blackhawks in Game 4 of a 1992 Norris Division semifinal series:
Best Blackhawks YouTube Video We Could Find: Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews scoring a game-tying short-handed goal late in regulation in an eventual 2-1 loss to the Canucks in Game 7 of a 2011 Western Conference quarterfinal series:
EN Prediction: The Blackhawks' stars - Kane and Toews - are healed up from some injuries late in the regular season while the Blues are limping into the postseason with a handful of injuries. The Blackhawks will take advantage and move a step towards defending their title.
(Photos: Christian Petersen/Getty Images and Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)