By Jon Fromi
The Chicago Blackhawks took the visiting St. Louis Blues into a shootout Thursday night but couldn’t exact revenge on last week’s defeat in St. Louis. The Blues picked up their second win over the Hawks this season, besting Chicago 3-2 in a shootout.
First Period- The Hawks had six shots on net in the first three minutes. Marian Hossa set up Duncan Keith for a nice scoring opportunity that was stopped by Jaroslav Halak in the first minute. Soon after, Brandon Pirri got a good look at the net.
The first real big Blues chance came when Vladamir Tarasenko centered to Patrick Berglund at the doorstep. Corey Crawford was able to make a pair of saves to turn St. Louis away empty.
Hossa and Pirri would hook up at the 7:32 mark, the result being Brandon Pirri’s first NHL goal. The rookie found open ice in the left slot and Hossa found him from the corner. The shot beat Halak high to the stick side and Chicago took a 1-0 lead.
St. Louis gained a power play when Jonathan Toews was called for slashing. The Blues instantly took advantage, scoring when a Jay Bouwmeester wrist shot from just inside the blue line was tipped in by David Backes five seconds after Backes beat Michal Handzus on the faceoff. 10:14 into the period, the score was even at a goal apiece.
Handzus was sent to the box for elbowing in the twelfth minute but the Hawks killed the penalty. The Blues retained the momentum over the next few minutes though Andrew Shaw took a feed from Toews for a shot on Halak. The score remained tied as the first 20 minutes came to an end.
Second Period-Eighty-five seconds into the middle frame, Hossa took a pass from the Chicago zone and found himself one-on-one with Halak. However, Hossa’s shot was absorbed by the Blues netminder.
Early in the seventh minute, Barret Jackman boarded Kane and sent the Hawks on their first power play of the night. Chicago, including Kane, was active early but couldn’t convert.
Oduya backhanded the puck onto the net 11:10 into the period but Halak collected the rebound just before Bryan Bickell could pounce on it.
A Vladamir Sobotka high stick on Nick Leddy gave the Hawks another shot at a power play goal. Brent Seabrook sent a hard one from the blue line late but Halak smothered the attempt and once again Chicago came up with nothing.
The Hawks broke the tie with 2:38 to go in the period when the Blues got caught on a shift change. Hjalmarsson flipped an entry attempt back up the ice and Hossa found himself leading a two-man rush on Halak with Patrick Sharp. One Marian Hossa half-slapper later, Chicago had a 2-1 advantage.
Less than a minute later, St. Louis countered with its second goal. Bouwmeester sent the puck to the net from the blue line. The puck pin balled off of Steen’s stick, through Backes’ legs, off Keith’s stick and past Crawford. Steen got credit for the goal at the 18:13 mark and the teams entered the second intermission deadlocked at two.
Third Period-The Blues had a great early chance when Crawford left a rebound of an Alex Pietrangelo shot in front of his crease. Brendon Morrow caught Sheldon Brookbank with his stick 1:30 into the period but the Hawks couldn’t make St. Louis pay for the infraction.
Roman Polak came up behind Marcus Kruger and planted him head-first into the boards, drawing a response from Bollig and Shaw. Bollig took turns battling Polak and Jackman. When the smoke cleared, Bollig and Jackman had five-minute fighting majors and Polak had a two-minute seat for boarding.
The Hawks had just 1:19 of the man advantage before Shaw hit T. J. Oshie late to draw a roughing penalty. Chicago kept the Blues out of the net and the teams entered the final ten minutes all tied up.
Crawford made an impressive stand in the 13th minute to deny St. Louis the lead, coming out to stop Pietrangelo’s attempt from the right circle. Kane seemed to have an open look after taking control of a loose puck about a minute later, but the attempt was blocked.
Neither team could manage to break the tie in the remainder of regulation or overtime, though Jackman hit the left post in the extra five minutes. For the second time in as many games, a shootout would decide the third point for the Hawks.
Kane shot stickside but was stopped by Halak. Oshie got Crawford on the ice and flipped it into the net. Toews was also denied but Crawford stopped Steen as well. Sharp’s attempt was handled by Halak to put a disappointing end to the contest.
-The game’s three stars: Bouwmeester (first), Hossa (second), Backes (third).
-After San Jose lit the Blues up for three power play goals a couple of nights ago, laying a goose-egg in four attempts cost Chicago a regulation win.
-Crawford, who stopped 26 of 28 shots in nearly 65 minutes, probably deserved better. He had a puck get by him on a power play tip-in for the first goal and had no chance on the second Blues goal.
-For the sixth straight game, Chicago has failed to score in the third period.
-In addition to finding the net for the first time for the Blackhawks, Pirri, was a plus-one for the contest in 9:34 of ice time. He won four of six faceoffs, including his only defensive zone draw of the night. I’d like to see him get a couple of Handzus’ minutes with Sharp and Hossa in future games.
-After a rare off night at the dot Tuesday, Toews was 10-for-20 against St. Louis. The Hawks bested the Blues on faceoffs 33 to 30. Kruger was 10-5 to lead the team.
-Another nice game from Hjalmarsson, who was the catalyst for Hossa’s goal with a heads up play in his own end.
-Kane survived a scary moment thanks to the fact that his helmet stayed on enough to prevent his skull from bouncing off the glass. Just two shots on the evening for Kane.
-Ryan Reaves had a chance to smash Bollig from behind and smartly pulled up. Maxim Lapierre may want to take some notes from a guy with whom Bollig has had numerous altercations. Reaves could have chosen to plant a hit between the numbers of a defenseless player and elected not to. Maybe the league could make a video of the play and send it around a few locker rooms.
-Coming to the United Center Saturday night: the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dave Bolland. The Rat has six points in eight games. The puck drops at 6:00 p.m.
-Quenneville used Shaw with Toews and Bickell and had Pirri centering Saad and Kane later in the first period. The combinations were switched up often throughout the rest of the game.