The Chicago Blackhawks faced off against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night fighting for 2nd place in the Central Division. The Chicago Blackhawks have faired extremely well in the Jonathan Toews/Patrick Kane era with home ice advantage so this game should have a playoff feel from the opening face-off. Here’s how things transpired at the United Center on Sunday night in front of a national TV viewing audience.
The word for the first period was PACE. The game was fast and furious and the star of the period had to be Corey Crawford. Crawford stopped anything and everything that the St. Louis Blues had to throw at him including a powerplay caused by Crawford’s delay of game penalty for shooting the puck into the stands.
The Hawks took the lead 1-0 when Marian Hossa did what Hossa can do which is dominate a shift, and when he stole the puck he held it long enough to open up Kris Versteeg who didn’t make any mistake and got the puck to the back of the net.
The Blues did outshoot the Hawks 16-12 which is a little disturbing going into the 2nd period and Kimmo Timonen didn’t return to the ice in the first period after getting hit hard by Ryan Reaves so his return is questionable.
The second period is one Hawks fans will want to quickly forget even though it didn’t start poorly with a pretty quick powerplay, but Andrew Shaw decided to run, jump, and charge Barrett Jackman and the period and game turned in an instant. The Hawks took another stupid penalty after killing off Shaw’s penalty and the Rozsival penalty created a tie game when David Backes tapped one behind Crawford.
The Blues took the lead when they won a faceoff and Michal Rozsival decided to defend nobody and just like that the Blues were leading 2-1. The Blues lead the shot chart 28-27 but the tempo of the game changed with the Shaw hit and it turned from a Blackhawks type of game but rather a Blues hitting game. One period to turn this game around.
The start of the third period was all Chicago Blackhawks with the Hawks peppering Jake Allen but he was up to the task and like all good things, the Blackhawks momentum left the Hawks and turned to the Blues.
St. Louis kept the momentum and kept the play in the Hawks zone for much of the middle part of the period, and while the game had pace again not much was going on in either offensive zones.
The story of the period was the fact that the Blues were blocking every shot in the period and in the end the Hawks couldn’t get anything past Allen, and in the end the Hawks fall 2-1 at home to the Blues.
-The Blackhawks are back at Tuesday Night for their regular season home finale against the Minnesota Wild.