Feb 8, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) reaches for a loose puck against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks visited the Blues on Sunday afternoon and here’s how the action happened in the Central Divisional showdown.
The St. Louis Blues came out flying and really dominated the first few minutes with plenty of pucks flying near Corey Crawford and the Hawks net, but the Blackhawks netminder was up to the task early and often! The Blues were getting greedy dropping defenseman low when the Hawks burned them on a turnover and a 2 on 1 with Daniel Carcillo and Marcus Kruger and Kruger buried the opening goal of the game and his first goal since early December.
The Blues were up to their usual tricks and if you believe in karma there was the play with Ryan Reaves cross checking David Rundblad then tripping up Teuvo Teravainen and for Reaves effort he received Teuvo’s skate to his face and some stitches and actually never returned in the first period. The Blues won the stats battle in the first period but it was the Hawks leading at first intermission horn.
The first goal for the Blues was almost a carbon copy of the Blackhawks goal, this time it was Johnny Oduya pinching and turning the puck over behind the Blues goal line which created a breaking away for Vladimir Tarasenko who undressed Crawford and the game was knotted up at one. The Blues surged for a while but the Blackhawks got the lead back when David Rundblad took a Kane pass and put a heavy shot on Brian Elliott who gave up a big rebound that Bryan Bickell deposited in the back of the net for a 2-1 lead.
The Blues tied it back up when T.J. Oshie got the puck in on Crawford and then was basically in Crawford’s lap when Marian Hossa nudged him and David Backes put it past Crawford to tie the game back up, there was nothing Crawford could do on the Backes shot. Both periods have been exciting with hits and goals and it will take a big third period from the Hawks to get 2 points.
The Third period was a tight checking period with not much going with a lot of neutral zone play, but the play of the game could be the burst of speed for a loose puck that Brad Richards displayed that created a Blackhawks powerplay. On the powerplay some good cross ice passing ended up with a Marian Hossa one-timer that beat Elliott for a 3-2 lead.
The Blackhawks dominated the play in the third out shooting the Blues 12-3 and they only gave up one good chance that Crawford came up big. The Blackhawks in the last minute controlled play and in the end Hossa was able to throw in an empty net goal to give him 2 on the day.
A big win when you look the standings and momentum for the Hawks as they head back to the United Center for the long homestand ahead!
– Bickell had a strong game that included a goal and an assist.
-The Bickell goal included a Patrick Kane assists and he now sits all alone as the NHL Points leader
-The first Hossa goal was his 475th All-time putting him in the 48th spot all time in NHL History.
-The Hawks are back at it Monday night at the United Center!