Blues end Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup defence

Marquez suffers big crash in MotoGP Australian GP FP1

The Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup defence was ended as St Louis Blues claimed a 3-1 victory to win their first-round seven-match series.

Troy Brouwer scored the go-ahead goal for the Blues early in the third period to hand them a 4-3 series win.

Jori Lehtera and Colton Parayko goals in the first period had made it look like it was going to be an easy evening for the Blues but Marian Hossa and Andrew Shaw hit back for the Blackhawks.

But Brouwer had the final say to ensure the Blackhawks become the first defending champions to go out in the first round since 2012.

A 3-1 win for the Nashville Predators kept their hopes alive and sent their series with the Anaheim Ducks to a seventh and decisive game.

The Predators, trailing 3-2, knew that defeat was not an option and second-period goals from Mattias Ekholm and James Neal eased their nerves.

Ryan Kesler hit back for the Ducks, but Shea Weber struck 10 seconds before the buzzer to claim the win.

The contest will be decided in Anaheim on Wednesday.