Blues’ views: Happy with Game 1, but expecting Kings to push back
ST. LOUIS -- The Blues and Kings practiced in two different facilities around the same time Wednesday, making it impossible for reporters to cover both sessions.
Thanks to Blues beat writer Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, here are some comments from the Blues the day after they defeated the Kings, 2-1, in overtime to open the teams’ first-round playoff series.
It sounds like the Blues, who dominated the early action and yielded the tying goal to Justin Williams with only 31.6 seconds left in the third period, aren’t getting ahead of themselves and know they still have their work cut out for them heading into Game 2 on Thursday at Scottrade Center.
“We’ve got to realize that we scored on the power play to give us the one-goal lead. There’s a lot of areas we need to improve on,” center Andy McDonald said, referring to Alex Steen’s first-period rebound goal.
“Certainly they’ve taken it to us in the regular season and in the playoffs last year. Hopefully it builds confidence in our room that these guys are beatable, and they’re the defending Stanley Cup champions, but if we play our game, we can play right there with them.
“But my point is it’s Game 1, and I think we had the adrenaline going, being excited, home opener in the playoffs, a lot to prove, and we just have to be sure that we match that [Thursday] night and maybe even bring it up a notch because I know that they’re going to come out a little harder.”
Center Patrik Berglund acknowledged that the Blues “backed off” in overtime as the Kings began to take control, but said his team played with good physicality and energy while drawing energy from the crowd at Scottrade Center.
“When the playoffs come, the fans are really into it and helping us a lot,” he said. “It was nice to get the win, but there’s plenty of more games to come.”
Forward Chris Stewart said the Blues were glad to end their eight-game losing streak against the Kings but said he expected the Kings to be emotionally charged Thursday in Game 2.
“They’re probably not too happy with the way they played,” he said. “I thought we came out with the right attitude. We showed that we meant business. But we’re going to expect a big push-back.”
Steen, who scored both St. Louis goals, said his team was able to carry over its late-season success into Game 1. The Blues finished on a 6-1 surge and were 12-3 in the month of April.
“I don’t think we focused as much on them as we did ourselves,” he said. “I think the way we played the last month of the season, the way we started April and kept progressing is something that was real positive. ...
“Now it’s playing the same way but intensifying it. I thought [Tuesday] we came out with a lot of jump and played the way we wanted to play, but that being said, that’s Game 1 and it’s behind us now.”
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