The first shift of the 1st period was a bit jumbled, for the Blackhawks, as the Blues nearly took advantage of a bouncing puck rebound, but Corey Crawford was able to freeze the puck. After that, the Hawks dominated the first half, of the 1st period.
At 13:32, of the 1st period, Steve Ott jumped Michal Handzus, and a mini-scrum ensued. As a result, both Ott and Handzus received unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, however Ott also received an a additional 2 minutes, for roughing. Sadly, the Hawks were once again unable to convert, on their Power Play.
After the fruitless man-advantage, the Hawks continued their dominating ways, as Bryan Bickell narrowly missed giving the Hawks a 1-0 lead, as his shot rang off the goal post. The Blues would get a chance, on the Power Play, when Johnny Oduya interfered with T.J Oshie. The Blues would however not convert, on their Power Play, and the period would end, in a 0-0 score. The Hawks definitely had the better period, as they out-shot the Blues 13-8.
The 2nd period started off with the Hawks controlling the temp, once again. The Blues would get a chance, when Vladimir Sobotka would draw a hooking penalty, from Michal Rozsival, to give the Blues a Power Play, at 1:44, of the 2nd. Once again, the Hawks’ scorching hot Penalty Killing unit, would kill off the penalty. 5 minutes later, Andrew Shaw would take a very undisciplined roughing penalty, on Ott, giving the Blues another chance, on the Power Play. However, once again, the Hawks’ PK unit, was up to the challenge, once again. Michal Handzus made some great plays, while playing on the PK.
Apparently, neither team was very interested in playing 5-on-5 hockey, as Maxim Lapierre tripped Patrick Sharp, to give the struggling Hawks’ Power Play, another chance. This time, however, there would be no struggle, as Andrew Shaw buried a puck past Ryan Miller, to redeem himself, and give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
Keeping with the theme of not playing 5-on-5 hockey, Bryan Bickell would be called for hi-sticking, on Alex Pietrangelo, just minutes after Shaw’s Power Play goal. Once again, the Hawks’ PK was up to the task, as they preserved the 1-0 lead.
Patrick Kane would be sprung on a breakaway, and rocket the puck past Miller, to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead, at 16:09, of the 2nd. Kane would commit a bad luck delay of game penalty, to give the Blues their 4th Power Play, of the 2nd period. This penalty, however, would not be killed, by the Hawks, as Vladimir Tarasenko would fire a wrist shot, past Crawford, for a Power Play goal, to bring the Blues within one.
The Hawks were just trying to preserve the lead, into the intermission, as the Blues were coming hard, after Tarasenko’s goal. They would fall 4 seconds short, of achieving that modest goal. Maxim Lapierre would bury a rebound, at 19:56, of the 2nd, to tie the game at 2 goals a piece.
The 2nd period was nearly a perfect period, for the Blackhawks, but the Blues ruined that, as they tied the game, and stole the momentum, before intermission.
The 3rd period started off all St. Louis, and it stayed that way, through the first ten minutes. However, the Hawks were able to prevent them from scoring, and the score remained tied at 2, but not for long…
Vladimir Tarasenko was sprung loose, and was able to beat Crawford, to make it 3-2, Blues, at 12:26, of the 3rd period.
If this series has taught us anything, it’s that Blackhawks/Blues games never end that easily.
Bryan Bickell was able to deflect a shot, into the St. Louis net, at 16:08, of the 3rd, to tie the game. Bickell’s clutch goal would give the Hawks the momentum and they would continue to heavily pressure the Blues, all the way to the end of the 3rd period. Sadly, they would not be able to find the back of the net.
For the 3rd time, in 4 games, the Hawks and Blues were headed to overtime.
Overtime would be tense and back and forth, but around the 10:00 mark, the Hawks started to take control. It wasn’t long after that, that Patrick Kane, and his playoff mullet were able to snipe the game winning goal, to tie the series at 2-2.
Game 4 will go down as a playoff classic, and a possible turning point, in the series. The Hawks have stolen ALL of the momentum, from the Blues, as they tied the series, after being down 2-0. Now, it is basically a best-of-3 games series, between the Hawks and Blues. It’s not about to get any easier, for the Hawks, as Game 5 will be played, on Friday, back in St. Louis.
This will be interesting.