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STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF CAPSULES

Western Conference Preview

April 17, 2002

*--* Chicago Blackhawks (41-27-13-1, 5th) vs. St. Louis Blues (43-27-8-4, 4th) Schedule: Thu., Sat., Sun., Tue., April 25*, 27*, 29* (*-if necessary, best of seven) Season series: Chicago, 3-1-1 Series preview: St. Louis is one of the toughest teams to figure out. When the Blues are bad, they are really bad. But when they are on top of their game, they are a difficult team to beat. St. Louis begins the playoffs on a roll, winning its final four games and eight of 11. Doug Weight, Keith Tkachuk and Pavol Demitra head an opportunistic attack, but the Blues' biggest worry is whether Brent Johnson will hold up in goal. The Blackhawks won the season series but have shown some cracks late in the season. Forwards Tony Amonte and Eric Daze have to play well for Chicago to slow down the Blues Late-season acquisitions: Chi--defenseman Lyle Odelein; right wing Tom Fitzgerald; StL--center Ray Ferraro Key injuries: Chi--none; StL--center Doug Weight (knee) Goaltenders' postseason records: Chi--Jocelyn Thibault (3-9); StL--Brent Johnson (0-1) Coaches' postseason records: Chi--Brian Sutter (27-36); StL--Joel Quenneville (26-25) Fast facts: The Blackhawks have the longest current drought between Stanley Cups, 42 years. The Blues have been in the postseason for 23 consecutive seasons MATCHUPS CHI STL Goals 216 (14) 27 (11) Goals against 207 (12) 188 (5) Power play 18.0 (5) 16.9 (8) Penalty killing 81.3 (28) 85.2 (14) Save percentage 900 (22) 898 (24) Goals-against avg 2.49 (13) 2.26 (5) Penalty minutes 1,234 (16) 1,343 (7) Power-play goals 54 (14) 62 (5) Short-handed goals 4 (23) 5 (20) Players w/Cup titles 2 3 10+ goal scorers 9 8 Prediction: St. Louis in seven

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