ST. LOUIS (AP) — Oh, too casually, Jonathan Quick fiddled with the puck behind the net. Switching from backhand to forehand, last year's Stanley Cup playoffs MVP was set to re-load a Los Angeles Kings' power play that had more than three minutes left to decide overtime.
Those extra seconds of stick-handling ended up giving Quick a jolt of humility.
Alexander Steen swooped in and stole the puck and then quickly tucked in a back-hander for a short-handed goal that gave the St. Louis Blues, seemingly on the ropes, a 2-1 victory in a first-round playoff opener Tuesday night.
"I think I just got fortunate," said Steen, who also scored on a power play in the first period. "It hit my stick."
The Kings, who swept the Blues in the second round last spring on the way to the franchise's first Cup, took a punch to the gut after Justin Williams scored in the final minute of regulation. They'll try to rebound and even the series Thursday night.
"We have a chance to win the game, everybody was focused on doing that," center Anze Kopitar said. "Unfortunately, we gave up what obviously shouldn't happen, can't happen."
Quick made a season-high 40 saves, all but five of them in regulation, to keep the Kings in it. Last spring's Conn Smythe award winner was looking the part.
Then he handed the Blues the series lead.
"You try to force it and I tried to give my D-men a little more time with the puck," Quick said. "I tried to make a good decision and he got a stick on it."
Steen's third career playoff game was unassisted at 13:26 of overtime and came less than a minute after Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk was whistled for a double-minor high sticking when he cut Dustin Penner.
"It's just such an emotional swing," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "You're down, figuring out who's going to kill a four-minute power play, and then the game's over."
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