ST. LOUIS (AP) — A mood of euphoric exhaustion carried over to the next day after the St. Louis Blues won the longest game in franchise history and got the upper hand against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo's legs were stiff and he said it felt as if the Blues played two games to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in triple overtime in the opener of their opening-round playoff series. But he had a smile on his face.
The game lasted 100 minutes and 36 seconds. The teams combined for 94 shots, loads of great saves by the goalies and one temper tantrum.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville apologized Friday for making an obscene gesture while reacting to a call that wasn't made in the first overtime. He was fined $25,000 for inappropriate conduct.
"I was definitely excited. Disappointed with the call, but I apologize for my behavior," Quenneville said. "It wasn't very appropriate at all. It was a bush-league move on my part."
Blues forward Ryan Reaves was in the penalty box for delay of game after flipping the puck in the stands when defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, while jousting with a Blackhawks player, also inadvertently flipped one over the glass. Quenneville raised his arm in protest and then grabbed his crotch after officials elected not to call a second penalty that would have given Chicago a 5-on-3 advantage for about a half-minute.
"I saw the highlight," forward Patrick Sharp said. "Joel's a passionate coach and he's intense on the bench. I think sometimes he wants to get his skates on and go out there and play with us."
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock joked that it wouldn't have mattered because "we're so good on 5-on-3s."
"Yes, I saw what Joel did," Hitchcock said, still smiling. "I saw it, but I'm not commenting. It would be inappropriate."
Five things to watch for in Game 2 of Blackhawks-Blues:
FATIGUE FACTOR: Everyone played a lot, and it's a short break before they return to the ice for Game 2 on Saturday afternoon.
Pietrangelo logged a whopping 44 minutes and 8 seconds of ice time. Blackhawks defensemen Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson played 40 minutes each and 11 others — eight of them Blues — played 30 or more minutes.
St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who holds the longest iron man streak in major sports with 717 consecutive games played in the regular season, fell just short of 30 minutes after becoming dehydrated in the first overtime.
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