Blackhawks beaten in play-off opener

Reigning NHL champions the Chicago Blackhawks suffered a 1-0 overtime loss to the St Louis Blues as the 2016 Stanley Cup play-offs began on Wednesday night.

Brian Elliott and Corey Crawford kept everything out in normal time but David Backes finally broke the deadlock nine minutes and four seconds into overtime.

Chicago had almost twice the amount of shots on goal as the Blues (35 to 18) but Backes made his chance count to give the hosts an early lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, last year’s runners-up, started their playoff campaign with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings.

Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring and then levelled the game after Mike Green and Justin Abdelkader had put the Red Wings ahead.

But Alex Killorn clinched victory for Tampa Bay 8.52 into the final period by redirecting Tyler Johnson’s pass into the net.

The Pittsburgh Penguins got the upper hand on the New York Rangers in their opener, winning 5-2 on home ice.

Patric Hornqvist scored a hat-trick while goaltender Jeff Zatkoff made 35 saves on his maiden playoff appearance.

Derek Stepan scored twice for the Rangers, who lost Henrik Lundqvist after the first period with the goalie having been hit in his eye by a team-mate’s stick.

Hornqvist put the Penguins ahead with 18 seconds left in the opening period and Sidney Crosby made it 2-0 on a breakaway 18.56 into the second.

Stepan got the Rangers on the board during a five-on-three powerplay in the third but the Penguins responded soon after with a shorthanded goal from Tom Kuhnhackl.

Hornqvist then scored on the powerplay before completing his treble with an empty-netter.