Lapierre's stop saves Blues, haunts Hawks

ST. LOUIS -- Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford and St. Louis Blues goaltender Ryan Miller combined for 87 saves in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series Thursday, but the save that had everyone still talking Friday was the one made by Blues forward Maxim Lapierre.

Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg shot the puck from the left circle past Miller late in the first overtime, but Lapierre was standing behind Miller to prevent the goal. The puck bounced off Lapierre and redirected away from the net. He ended up there after being accidentally knocked into that spot by Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad. The save kept the game going and eventually the Blues won in a third overtime.

“It may have been the save of the night, and [Miller had 39 saves,]” Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said Friday. “But that was pretty special to see that. Someone’s going to need to come up with those type of hockey plays. They had a few guys who made some big plays, too. Still can’t figure out why he was in that spot.”

Versteeg still couldn’t believe it either.

“That was a bit of a late bedtime because you do think about what ifs,” Versteeg said Friday. “You do try to block them out, though. You can’t change the past. You did everything you wanted to do.

“It was a great pass and the shot was going in, and unfortunately it did hit him and it came out kind of funny too. Usually you think it’d stick there and you have guys keep banging around in the crease. Those are things that’ll happen throughout the series.”

Versteeg threw his arms in the air after his shot, but it wasn’t because he thought he had scored.

“It wasn’t a celebration,” Versteeg said. “I think it was more of, ‘What the heck just happened.’ My hands went in the air like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ Hopefully saving [the goal] for another game.”