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Top Chicago Blackhawks Playoff Wins: Blose, Part II

By Colin Likas

Two consecutive days of talking about the Chicago Blackhawks defeating the St. Louis Blues in Stanley Cup playoff action? Christmas has come early to Blackhawk Up. And another overtime victory for the Blackhawks at that.

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Chicago was reeling in the series after falling behind 2-0 at Scottrade Center, and the Blackhawks had to move on without the services of Brent Seabrook after his hit on David Backes in Game 2. After winning Game 3 at the United Center, Game 4 got off to a fine start. But things would get … interesting as the clock wore on, thus securing this game’s spot on our countdown of most memorable Blackhawks playoff wins under coach Joel Quenneville.

Note: Check out the previous entries in this series at the end of this post.

No. 22: 2014 Western Conference first round, Game 4

Chicago Blackhawks 4, St. Louis Blues 3 (OT)

This game was tight throughout and angry at the outset. Michal Handzus and Steve Ott got into some shenanigans late in the first period that saw both tagged with unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, though Ott got an extra minor for roughing. The Blackhawks wouldn’t score on that powerplay.

But we’re jumping ahead slightly. The first good scoring chance for Chicago was blown dead by the referee for some reason. Marian Hossa carried the puck into the zone and fired a shot at Ryan Miller, with Johnny Oduya crashing the crease. He collided with Miller and Jaden Schwartz, after which the play was blown dead despite Patrick Sharp having the puck off a rebound at the doorstep.

Not long after Handzus and Ott went to the penalty boxes, but after Ott’s extra infraction had expired, Bryan Bickell rang a shot off the post to Miller’s left. Corey Crawford showed his abilities in the period’s final 10 seconds when he stopped Derek Roy in tight on a rebound bid.

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So there was no scoring in the first, but that would change in a big way in the second period. Maxim Lapierre decided to help the Blackhawks out by being scum, as he jammed his leg into Sharp’s leg for what was called tripping but could easily have been a few other penalties. Still, Chicago was on a powerplay halfway through the middle frame, which was a nice change of pace after two early Blackhawks penalties in this period.

Chicago took little time to strike, as Jonathan Toews won the first man-advantage faceoff and eventually received the puck below the circles. He basically whiffed on a one-timer after a pass from Patrick Kane, but Toews got just enough of the puck to keep it moving forward. It went toward the skate of Andrew Shaw, and Shaw used that carom to send it to his stick for a backhander past Miller’s short side and a 1-0 Chicago edge.

With less than four minutes to go in the second, the Blackhawks struck again. Kane moved the puck Oduya at center ice, and the defenseman entered the zone with Sharp and Kane in tow. Much focus was put on Oduya and Sharp while Kane snuck toward the back door. An impressive and perfect pass from Oduya found Kane as he was skating up to the net, and he had an easy tapper for his first goal of the night, pushing the Blackhawks up by two.

Oduya is the guy in red up top. Kane is the guy in red down below who has no one covering him. (Screenshot from YouTube)

So maybe the Blackhawks go to the locker room with a nice lead here, come out and either smother the Blues or play the safety game. About that …

Kane had just gone to the box for a delay-of-game penalty, and the Blues quickly capitalized after winning their first man-advantage faceoff. Vladimir Tarasenko eventually got the puck right above the circle to Crawford’s right and wired a puck through traffic and past Crow. T.J. Oshie was screening Crow the whole way, but Tarasenko’s shot would have been tough to stop if Oshie wasn’t there. Regardless. Chicago’s lead was now just one with less than two minutes to go in the second.

Now, it’s well known goals in the first and last minute of a period are big no-no’s defensively. Giving up one to the Blues is painful. Giving up one to a generally useless player like Lapierre is just awful. A mess of action saw the Blackhawks fail to get the puck out a few times, and it cost them. Steve Ott won a battle down low after a Crawford save and tipped the puck out to Lapierre at the circle. Lapierre spun around and fired a shot off the post to Crawford’s left, then saw the puck bounce off it and off Crow’s backside. The puck trickled into the twine to tie things up with about three seconds until the horn.

The Blues were naturally trash talking as they left the UC ice following that period, and things would get worse for Chicago before they’d get better.

An offensive chance for the Blackhawks with less than eight minutes to go in the third was sent the other way by St. Louis in 3-on-2 fashion. Alex Pietrangelo had chipped the puck off the boards to Tarasenko near center ice. The Russian winger was never going to pass it, and he simply fired a shot low and through Crawford from the left circle to push the Blues ahead for the first time in this game.

But never fear … this is the Chicago Blackhawks we’re talking about. Naturally, someone we don’t talk about very often would make a key contribution to a key goal. With Hossa controlling the puck low in the offensive zone with less than four minutes to go in regulation, he found Michal Rozsival at the point, and the defenseman just put a shot toward Miller. It wound up hitting Bickell in front and careened past the goaltender to knot this one up at three.

That would be the final goal until more than halfway through the first overtime period, when Kane turned around a Blues offensive play and carried the puck into his own offensive zone. Kane bided his time, got closer and closer to the net and wristed a shot past Miller to end this one and tie the series at two games apiece.

The Blackhawks looked like they might be in huge trouble when they blew a two-goal lead, allowed a tally in the waning seconds of a period and gave up another goal late in the final period. But just enough magic and ability got them past all of that and into position to advance in the postseason.

Previous entries

No. 23 | No. 24 | No. 25 | No. 26 | No. 27 | No. 28 | No. 29 | No. 30 | No. 31 | No. 32 | No. 33 | No. 34 | No. 35 | No. 36 | No. 37 | No. 38 | No. 39 | No. 40 | No. 41 | No. 42 | No. 43 | No. 44 | No. 45 | No. 46 | No. 47 | No. 48 | No. 49 | No. 50 | No. 51 | No. 52 | No. 53 | No. 54 | No. 55 | No. 56 | No. 57 | No. 58 | No. 59 | No. 60 | No. 61 | No. 62 | No. 63 | No. 64 | No. 65 | No. 66 | No. 67 | No. 68 | No. 69 | No. 70 | No. 71 | No. 72 | No. 73

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