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Saturday, April 27, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Blues 3, Blackhawks 1

By Rob Rains
Special to ESPNChicago.com

ST. LOUIS -- Here is a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues Saturday night at Scottrade Center:

How it happened: Carter Hutton made his NHL debut in goal for the Blackhawks, allowing the three goals on 21 St. Louis shots in the first two periods. Patrik Berglund scored on a delayed penalty, and Jaden Schwartz recorded the first two-goal game of his NHL career. The Blackhawks kept many of their regulars back in Chicago for this final game of the regular season and featured a lineup that included seven skaters, plus Hutton, who had spent most of the year playing for Rockford. One of those forwards, Ben Smith, scored the only Chicago goal at 8:23 of the third period to keep the Blackhawks from being shut out for the first time this season.

What it means: For the Blackhawks, absolutely nothing. They had already clinched the Presidents’ Trophy for the best overall record in the league and finished the shortened season at 36-7-5. The game was much more important for the Blues, and the win clinched fourth place in the Western Conference, giving them home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

What’s next: The playoffs. Minnesota’s 3-1 win at Colorado clinched eighth place for the Wild and set up the first round series, which will begin next week. Detroit also won Saturday night and finished seventh. The schedule for the first round will be announced on Sunday.