Blackhawks begin playoffs Thursday in St. Louis

April 14, 2014 4:42:15 AM PDT
The Chicago Blackhawks will begin defense of the Stanley Cup Championship Thursday in St. Louis against the Blues in the first round of the playoffs.

St. Louis finished second in the Central and will have home-ice advantage in a best-of-seven series.

In five games against the Blues this season, the Blackhawks managed two victories, both at the United Center. It's an opportune time for the Hawks as the Blues are struggling, having lost their last six regular-season games while trying to overcome injuries to several top players.

The following is the schedule for the first round announced Sunday by the NHL. All times CT.

Game 1: Thursday, April 17, 7pm at St. Louis
Game 2: Saturday, April 19, 2pm at St. Louis
Game 3: Monday, April 21, 7:30pm at Chicago
Game 4: Wednesday, April 23, 8:30pm at Chicago
Game 5: Friday, April 25, 7pm at St. Louis (if necessary)
Game 6: Sunday, April 27, 2pm at Chicago (if necessary)
Game 7: Tuesday, April 29, time TBA at St. Louis (if necessary)

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