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The Chicago Blackhawks delivered the knockout blow to the St. Louis Blues today 5-1, making it the second consecutive year that the Blues have won the first two games of a series, then lost the next four to be eliminated.

Pretty big coincidence, right? It goes deeper than that. Consider this from CSNChicago.com:

2013 Round 1 Blues vs. Kings (defending Stanley Cup champions)
Game 1: Alex Steen scored game-winning goal in OT.
Game 2: Barret Jackman scored game-winning goal.
Game 3: Blues outshot Kings by nine, got shut out.
Game 4: Blues blew 3-2 lead late in third period, lost 4-3.
Game 5: Alex Pietrangelo scored game-tying goal (his first of the playoffs, assisted by Jaden Schwartz), Blues lost 3-2 in OT.

2014 Round 1 Blues vs. Blackhawks (defending Stanley Cup champions)

Game 1: Steen scored game-winning goal in OT.
Game 2: Jackman scored game-winning goal.
Game 3: Blues outshot Blackhawks by nine, got shut out.
Game 4: Blues blew 3-2 lead late in third period, lost 4-3.
Game 5: Pietrangelo scored game-tying goal (his first of the playoffs, assisted by Schwartz), Blues lost 3-2 in OT.

Follow the rest of USA TODAY Sports' in-depth NHL coverage at nhl.usatoday.com.

Follow Mike Brehm on Twitter @ByMikeBrehm.

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