The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues would have been popular picks for second- or third-round combatants just a few short weeks ago, but they literally stumbled into a first-round matchup against each other.
It's unfortunate that one of the Western Conference powerhouses will be eliminated so quickly, but both played their way out of a potential opening series against a wild-card team and into the division battle with a rocky finish.
Still, there is a lot to like about the meeting. Both goaltenders have question marks. Both teams have had key injuries to deal with. They're among the best offenses in the entire league and play strong in their own end as well.
Read on to see what factors will come into play and who is more likely to come out on top.
All statistics are courtesy of NHL.com unless otherwise noted.