Alex Steen scored 26 seconds into the third overtime as the Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in a marathon Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference quarterfinals Thursday at Scottrade Center.

David Backes and Steve Ott assisted on the play, as Ott centered the puck to a crashing Steen. He pounded it past netminder Corey Crawford to send the crowd in a frenzy.

The game became the longest in the history of the Blues franchise, eclipsing a previous record set on April 7, 1984. In that game, The Blues beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 on a goal by Mark Reeds 17 minutes seven seconds into a second overtime period.

The Blues trailed Chicago 3-2 in regulation when Jaden Schwartz scored with 1:45 remaining to tie it. The teams then skated through two scoreless overtimes.

The Blues have had to kill two Chicago power plays, one in each of the first two OTs. What's more, Blues goaltender Ryan Miller stopped Chicago's Patrick Sharp on a clear-cut breakaway with 2:40 remaining to play in the second OT.

The Blues were unable to convert on their own power play during the second extra session.

In their history, the Blackhawks are now 46-41 in overtime, while the Blues are 29-27.

The longest game in franchise history for Chicago was played on April 9, 1931 at Montreal. The Blackhawks scored 13:50 into the third overtime period to win the game 3-2.

The Blues outshot the Blackhawks 51-42 in the game and lead the series 1-0. Game 2 is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Scottrade.

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Opening the NHL playoffs for the third consecutive season, facing rival Chicago in the postseason for the first time in 12 years, the Blues were able to reset button in Game 1 Thursday night at Scottrade Center.

Welcoming several injured players — but not all — back into their lineup, the Blues showed signs of a club that could make amends after a six-game losing streak to end the regular season. They put a charge into the standing-room-only crowd of 19,423 on several occasions, none louder than when Jaden Schwartz scored with 1 minute, 15 seconds left in regulation.

Schwartz became the third Blue on the night to record his first NHL playoff goal, and this one helped the club tie the Blackhawks, sending the game into overtime.

Before the clubs returned to the ice for the sudden-death period, the Blues played a collage of playoff OT game-winning goals on the Jumbo-tron, and they were hoping to add another one to their collection.

It would have to wait well into the night, as the Blues and Hawks went to double-overtime tied at 3-3.

Chicago was within moments of closing out the night and setting themselves up with a one game to none lead in the in the best-of-seven series heading into Game 2 Saturday at 2 p.m.

A goal by Patrick Kane from Jonathan Toews — two players who enter the series rested after sitting out the end of the regular season with injuries — was nearly the difference. It came with 1 minute, 36 seconds left in the opening frame, giving Chicago a 3-2 lead, and that remained the score until Schwartz's goal.

On an amazing individual effort, Schwartz pinched along the boards and poked away Johnny Oduya's clearing pass, intended for Niklas Hjalmarsson. Derek Roy pounced on the lose puck and moved it ahead to Schwartz going to the net, and he backhanded a shot past Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.

Crawford had been brilliant up until that point, flashing his glove hand on a shot by Alexander Steen, turning aside Adam Cracknell and denying Vladimir Sobotka — all in the final 10 minutes of regulation.

In the first OT, Vladimir Tarasenko had a chance to send the Blues home happy, but standing in the crease, he had his stick lifted by Toews on a scoring chance, keeping the game running. Then with under two minutes left, Kris Versteeg had a chance to win the game for Chicago, but Maxim Lapierre was patrolling the open Blues' net and blocked the shot.

It was an eventful finish Thursday, just as it was an eventful start.