CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues face off for Game 3 of their Western Conference first-round series at the United Center on Monday. The Blues lead the series 2-0. Here's what to watch for:
The Blues will be without David Backes, who suffered an upper-body injury due to a hit by Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook in Game 2. Backes is the Blues' top-line center and plays in all situations. The Blues will return forward Patrik Berglund to the ice. He's missed the past three games due to an upper-body injury.
Seabrook was suspended three games for his hit. His absence is also costly for the Blackhawks. He's second on the team in minutes and leads it with four points in the playoffs. Sheldon Brookbank will replace Seabrook in the lineup in Game 3.
There is some bad blood boiling in this series, but both teams have said it's important to not act on it. Aside from the Seabrook hit, Hitchcock also accused Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell of some questionable hits in Game 2. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has kept most of his opinions to himself in the first two games.
Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko has made an immediate impact in the series after missing the final 15 games of the regular season. He scored in each of the first two games.
Games 1 and 2 had a number of similarities. The biggest ones were the Blues rallying from a 3-2 deficit to tie the game late in the third period and winning in overtime. The Blackhawks were less than two minutes away from being up 2-0 in the series.
Special teams have pretty much cancelled each other out through the two games. The Blues are 1-for-13 on the power play, and the Blackhawks are 1-for-10.
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford accepted blame for his team's Game 2 loss. He said he needed to play better. He's allowed four goals in each game and has a .904 save percentage for the series.
Five of the six Blackhawks' goals have been scored by their defensemen. Patrick Kane's breakaway goal in Game 1 was the lone one scored by a forward.