When the Blues and Hawks took the ice for the early Sunday afternoon match the talk was about Brian Elliott three straight shut outs, but when the final horn sounded there was a zero on the scoreboard but it was behind the St Louis Blues.
The Hawks came out against the Blues and found a team that was ready to get physical. The Blues were hitting anything that moved which of course included the Hawks checking sacrificial lamb Marcus Kruger. The Hawks had a few shots on goal that were good chances including a Jonathan Toews backhand that went off Brian Elliott’s glove but bounced over the net. The game had a playoff atmosphere with the after whistle festivities. The Hawks penalty kill was very good when Dave Bolland was fed up with the play and got nasty and cross checked a Blues player into the boards. The refs seemed to lose control of the game early and they never seemed to regain it for the period. The worst site of the first period was seeing Toews head to the locker room. The chirpy Backes was heard talking trash to Bryan Bickell and was heard saying if he ever played by the NBC telecast.
The best site for all the Hawks fans was the site of Toews taking the 2nd period faceoff. The game although including a lot of hits seemed to settle down a bit. The Hawks are 6-0-1 in their last seven games, but are without a powerplay goal during the stretch and they had two chances in the 2nd period and while one was ok and the second was dreadful with the Blues keeping most of the action in the Hawks end. The scoresheet finally had a tally on it when Viktor Stalberg turned on the jets and got to the net and Bickell with his skates well behind the goal line flipped one past Brian Elliott. The goal ended Elliott’s 214 minutes streak without giving up a goal, and it was a great comeback for Bickell to shut up David Backes. To put more salt in to the wound Bickell flattened Backes in the final minute of the 2nd period.
The third period began with the Hawks holding on to a one goal lead but knowing the Blues were going to bring everything they had to get points for their playoff push. The Hawks had to kill consecutive minor penalties basically back to back. In the middle of the 2nd penalty kill the Blues knocked down the puck with a high stick which forced the faceoff to their end. On the faceoff Toews won it cleanly to Marian Hossa who blasted one past Elliott for a short handed goal and a 2-0 lead. Corey Crawford was solid all day, but we did have some help with Nick Leddy, Michael Frolik, and Johnny Oduya all making plays in the crease to save goals. The Blues were not able to solve Crawford and the Hawks closed out the Blues when the final horn sounded 2-0.
The player of the game was Viktor Stalberg who picked up an assist but his speed helped determine the outcome. The Blues tried to play physical all day, but after the first period the Hawks passed the test by the Blues with flying colors. In two games in St Louis the Hawks have won 3-0 and now 2-0.
The Hawks play the Dallas Stars in Chicago and then get three days off. The puck drops at 7:00 Central.
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