NHL: St Louis Blues deny the Chicago Blackhawks in third overtime period
Last Updated: 18/04/14 7:08am
Alexander Steen struck in the third overtime period as the St Louis Blues drew first blood in their play-off encounter with reigning Stanley Cup champions the Chicago Blackhawks.
Chicago had appeared on course to take the lead in the series as they led 3-2 - with all the goals scored in the first period - with two minutes to go, but Jaden Schwartz took the game into overtime with a late strike.
After the sides had passed the longest overtime game in franchise history, Steen settled the contest 26 seconds into third overtime for the Blues, who claimed their first win in seven after ending their regular season with six straight losses.
Western Conference Central division winners the Colorado Avalanche were also taken the distance before they took a series lead over the Minnesota Wild after a 5-4 overtime win.
Colorado trailed 4-2 heading into the final period but goals from Jamie McGinn and Paul Stastny levelled proceedings, and the latter would go on to score the decisive goal in the eighth minute of overtime.
It was a much easier night for the San Jose Sharks, who thumped the Los Angeles Kings 6-3.
Goals from Joe Thornton, Tomas Hertl, Patrick Marleau, Raffi Torres and Marc-Edouard Vlasic put San Jose firmly in control, meaning efforts from Jake Muzzin, Slava Voynov and Trevor Lewis were too little, too late.
The New York Rangers stormed to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, thanks in the main to three goals in the final period.
The sides were deadlocked after Andrew MacDonald's opener for the Flyers was cancelled out by Mats Zuccarello, but the Rangers came on strong in the late stages thanks to goals from Brad Richards, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin.