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Troy Brouwer plays the hero for Blues in Game 7 win

St. Louis Blues forward Troy Brouwer felt a lot of pressure when he had the puck on his stick in front of the Chicago Blackhawks net in the third period of Game 7 of their first-round series. 

"That was almost really embarrassing,” Brouwer said of the ugly looking goal he scored on that sequence. “If I would've missed that one, I might've quit hockey."

Brouwer later admitted he was joking, but that didn’t take away from the importance of the score.

“I just tried to stay with it, knowing the magnitude of the game (and) knowing how everything's been going," he said according to the Chicago Tribune.

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Brouwer, who won the Stanley Cup in 2010 with the Blackhawks, took a feed from rookie Robby Fabbri, hit the goalpost initially, whiffed on another attempt then eventually stuffed the puck into the open net with goaltender Corey Crawford sprawled on the other side of the crease.

His game-winning score came with 11:29 left in the third period and helped St. Louis prevent collapse in a thrilling Game 7, 3-2 win over the defending Stanley Cup champions. 

“That’s like mini-golf, you’re trying to put it in there,” coach Ken Hitchcock said. “God was it an anxious moment on the bench and then to see it, it looked like he almost tried to kick it. I would have had a heart attack on the bench right there. He was calm in critical moments and helps us out a lot.

Said captain David Backes, "I think he might have blown that in with his breath if he didn't get it with his backhand there."

It was Brouwer’s first playoff goal in his last 24 playoff games dating back to 2013. He had played in seven straight series that had gone to Game 7, but didn’t have a point in any of those games.

The Post-Dispatch called it “the biggest goal in recent Blues history.”

The Blues acquired Brouwer in the offseason, dealing fan favorite T.J. Oshie as the team tried to get grittier in order to finally escape the first-round of the playoffs. The Blues had lost in the first-round of the postseason for three straight years.

In the game, the Blues were up 2-0 in the first period, before Chicago began a comeback to knot the game in the second period. The Blues had already blown a 3-1 series lead to Chicago, which included losing another two-goal lead in Game 6 and Brouwer and the Blues were determined to finally finish off the Hawks, the team that won last year's Stanley Cup. 

"It means a lot to me," Brouwer said. "It means a lot to the team and the franchise. We've had a long, tough season and to see us get rewarded like this, especially against a division rival like the Hawks in such dramatic fashion, it's all smiles around here."

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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