St. Louis Blues Colton Parayko (55) is mobbed by teammates after scoring a goal in the first period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 25, 2016. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

St. Louis Blues Colton Parayko (55) is mobbed by teammates. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

This is exactly what NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the league wanted when they adjusted the playoff format a few years ago to pit more division rivals in the first and second rounds of the Stanley Cup chase.  For the second time in three years, it gave us a Blues-Blackhawks series and Monday night’s game 7 gave NBCSN their highest ratings for a first round game.

The game drew an average of 1.353 million with viewership peaking at two million in the third period.

The Blues open the second round in Dallas on Friday night with a 7 p.m. start against the Stars.  Game two is Sunday.




I explain why this new playoff format is a huge win for fans and the NHL

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