Hawks respond well to Blues' physical style

Patrick Kane and the Hawks didn't have much room with the puck Sunday in St. Louis. Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS – The Chicago Blackhawks got an early indication of the kind of game they can expect in the playoffs on Sunday, courtesy of the St. Louis Blues.

Playing a rough, physical game, including some extra pushing and shoving after the whistle had blown, the Blues hoped that style of play would knock the Blackhawks off their game.

"This team is a good test for us," said goalie Corey Crawford, who stopped all 30 St. Louis shots in the 2-0 victory. "They play hard and they play physical. They were trying to get us off our game, but we stuck with the way we play and waited for our chances.

"Teams are going to try to get to us, push our skill guys around and we just have to ignore it like we did tonight and keep playing our game."

Coach Joel Quenneville was proud of how his team responded to the physical play.

"We have guys who are competitive and we don't want to be distracted from where we have to be on the ice," Quenneville said. "We went into the hard areas and we got rewarded.

"They (the Blues) check well and they play that tight game. They don't give up much space and time. It's a different game when you are chasing that team."

One example of the Blues' tough play came late in the first period, when David Backes knocked into Jonathan Toews and sent him off the ice with an apparent knee injury.

Toews only missed one shift, however, and was back on the ice to take the opening faceoff of the second period.

"Just had to put a little ice on it," Toews said. "It was nothing serious."