The Chicago Blackhawks lost to the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on Wednesday evening. Next up, the Blackhawks play the New York Islanders on Friday night at the United Center.
This was a slugfest between two supremely talented teams. There was a fight two minutes into the game between Chris Stewart and Sheldon Brookbank. The Blues would get on the board first when Vladimir Tarasenko beat Corey Crawford with a wicked wrist shot top shelf at 15:44. It wouldn’t take long for the Blackhawks to respond as Patrick Kane put in a rebound on a power play off of a Patrick Sharp one timer from Jonathan Toews at 17:01 to even the score at 1 after the first period.
The second period would feature strong special teams play from both sides. After a faceoff win, Alex Pietrangelo skated to the middle of the ice and fired a wrist shot that was deflected by David Backes who was screening Crawford for a power play goal at 8:37. Again, the Blackhawks would respond quickly as Jonathan Toews scored on the power play on a similar play as the first goal at 9:16 past Jaroslav Halak to tie the game at 2.
The continued back and forth would escalate in the third period. Halak and Crawford made great saves to keep the game tied. A chaotic twenty seconds would determine the game. Toews stole the puck in the offensive zone and had Bickell for a two on one. Some terrific defense from St. Louis and quick transition offense turned their disadvantage into a three on one as Brent Seabrook was caught inside the faceoff circles. Jay Bouwmeester released Alexander Steen with a pass. Steen took the puck down and fired a slap shot past a sliding Duncan Keith and the puck squirted between Crawford’s legs and into the net with 21 seconds remaining. There was not enough time for the Blackhawks to mount much as David Backes blocked a desperation one timer from Sharp to secure the victory.
What it means
The third period struggles continue for the Blackhawks who have allowed five goals in the third period so far this year. This was a tough game to lose as the Hawks appeared destined for at least one point especially against a division rival in games that Joel Quenneville likes to term four point games. The Blackhawks will go back home where they have recorded at least one point in both games so far this year.
3 stars of the game
3. Corey Crawford- Crawford played really well in what had to be his best performance of the year. On the night, Crawford made 31 saves on 34 shots. To be fair, Crawford had no shot on the goal by Backes and the shot by Steen was a beauty that would be hard for any goaltender to stop.
2. Alexander Steen- Steen came up for the Blues in the clutch as he scored the game winning goal with 21 seconds left. Not many goalies would have been able to stop the bomb that Steen unleashed at the end of the game. The game winning goal was the third goal for Steen on the year and he has scored a goal in each game this year.
1. Jaroslav Halak- Halak was brilliant for the Blues and didn’t have much of a chance on either goal as he was caught out of position. It was a great game for Halak who made 26 saves on 28 shots and was clutch in the third period. So far Halak has 71 saves on 75 shots and is 3-0-0 as he leads the undefeated Blues.