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Blues, Blackhawks healthy heading into first-round series

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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Apparently, Ken Hitchcock is talked out about the Chicago Blackhawks.

The St. Louis Blues coach cut his news conference short Tuesday a day ahead of the team's first-round playoff matchup against the team that has won three Stanley Cups the last six seasons, including last year.

Hitchcock said his team was at full strength for the first time all season and that it was nice to have choices heading into Game 1 at home on Wednesday night. And that was it.

"So, let's play," Hitchcock said, adding "thanks" as he left the interview room to stunned silence.

There hasn't been a repeat Stanley Cup champion since 1998, and the Blackhawks will be opening on the road against a team that won the season series 3-2.