Troy Brouwer described the go-ahead score in the third period of a 3-2 Game 7 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night as ''the ugliest goal I've ever scored and probably the timeliest goal I've ever scored.''
The 30-year-old forward showed plenty of poise when his first shot clanked off the post midway through the third period. The second effort off the backhand produced the goal that put a long-frustrated franchise over the top against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Chicago just missed a chance to tie it when Brent Seabrook's shot went off both posts with about 3:30 left. Coach Joel Quenneville came close to challenging the play.
Jori Lehtera scored his first career playoff goal and rookie defenseman Colton Parayko also scored for the Blues, who avoided another inglorious finish. They led 2-0 early, their second two-goal cushion in two games, before the Blackhawks tied it in the second period.
Marian Hossa scored his third goal of the series and Andrew Shaw got his fourth on a power play for the Blackhawks. Patrick Kane was dangerous all night but was scoreless, and was minus-3.
Brouwer scored from close range off a feed from Robby Fabbri. The first shot went off the right post and he nudged the second past Corey Crawford.
It is the first time the Blues advanced past the first round since 2012, when they beat San Jose in five games but then lost four straight to Los Angeles. St. Louis plays Dallas in the next round.