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The Anaheim Ducks sat their icon, lost their leader and completely released their grip on a Western Conference quarterfinal series that is now up for grabs.

The difference between heading to St. Louis down three games to one or even in a best-of-seven series was monumental, and no one knew that more than the Blackhawks.

Whatever Lindy Ruff said to his Stars after the first intermission Wednesday night should be nominated for motivational speech of the year.

Wednesday night inside United Center confirmed what we already suspected. The gravitational pull between the Blues and Chicago Blackhawks is too strong for anything to come easily. If one shoe drops, another's on the way. One team's jab invites a left hook from the other. The law of playoff physics rules.

For the third time in four games in their Western Conference first-round series, the Blues and Blackhawks needed overtime to settle their score. But for the first time in one of these overtime thrillers, the Blues fell short.

Were they grasping at straws or coaxing small embers into becoming flames when the Los Angeles Kings repeatedly pointed out that their best players played better in the team's third straight playoff loss to San Jose than in the first two defeats?

The Anaheim Ducks are celebrating Earth Week by coming back down to it.

The Los Angeles Kings are the only team in the Western Conference to be mired in a 3-0 playoff hole, which is why there was more talk Wednesday about 2010 than their 2012 Stanley Cup championship resume.

The best poetry often springs unexpectedly and unintentionally.

The burden fell to the Dallas Stars to complete the Perfect Sports Day.

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