Oct 9, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing Alexander Steen (20) scores a goal past Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) during the third period at Scottrade Center. The Blues defeat the Blackhawks 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
In what was a very tightly contested, and very hard fought kickoff to the season series between bitter Central Division rivals, the St. Louis Blues found a way to slightly edge the Chicago Blackhawks with a last minute goal. Neither team held a lead for any extended period of time, throughout the game. The game was virtually tied in it’s entirety. Every Blues goal was answered by the Blackhawks, within minutes, to keep the score even, for most of the game.
This was game one of the season series, this should be fun.
The first period was tightly contested, as expected, but it was the Hawks who were controling the tempo, and applying the pressure to the Blues, only to be constantly denied by Blues’ goaltender, Jaroslav Halak. It felt like it was only a matter of time before the Hawks broke through, but surprisingly it was the Blues who would draw first blood, off of Vladimir Tarsenko‘s goal, late in the first period. 1:17 later, Patrick Kane tied the game with a Power Play goal, and the buzzer would sound with the game tied 1-1, at the end of the first period.
The second period started off very hard-fought, back and forth, and evenly matched. Blues’ captain, David Backes scored a goal, on the Power Play, and gave the Blues a 2-1 lead, for about 39 seconds, when it was the Hawks’ captain Jonathan Toews scored to even the game, at two goals apiece, and it would remain that way, through the end of the 2nd period.
More of the same in the 3rd period, with heavy doses of back and forth, playoff like hockey, and determination from both teams. Every offensive chance was thwarted by Halak, and Hawks’ goaltender, Corey Crawford. It appeared that the game was surely headed to overtime, until Hawks’ defenseman, Brent Seabrook was caught out of position, which lead to a 3 on one rush, for the Blues, that ended with a go-ahead goal from Alexander Steen, with 21 seconds remaining, in regulation.
Although the Hawks found a way to quickly answer every Blues’ goal, during the game, they couldn’t quite answer Steen’s and the Blues would go on to win, by a score of 3-2.
This game could have gone either way, but tonight, it went the Blues’ way, and if this is any sort of preview, this will be one of the most talked about matchups, and rivalries, in the NHL.
The Blues improved to 3-0-0, on the season, which is tied for their best start to a season, in franchise history. They will try to set a new record start to a season Saturday,at home against the New York Rangers. The Blackhawks fell to 1-1-1 on the season, and will look to rebound at home, Friday, against the New York Islanders.
It’s early, but the Hawks have a couple of issues that need some ironing out. The Penalty Kill has been atrocious, and clutch, defensive-zone faceoff wins have been hard to come by, and both have formed a sort of VERY early season Achilles heel for the Blackhawks. It’s still early, but something to keep an eye on.
With 79 games to go, early is a vast understatement, so there’s is plenty of time to get on SEVERAL rolls, this season, en route to the Central Division Championship, but they will no doubt have to beat the Blues to get there.