The much anticipated match-up between the Blackhawks and Blues started off with a bang, and not in a good way for St Louis. After two penalties in the opening minute to defensemen Jay Boumeester and Barret Jackman, Chicago jumped on the board with a 5 on 3 power play goal from Patrick Sharp, his third of the young season.
Before the game, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock announced that Jaden Schwartz would join TJ Oshie and David Backes on the first line, and drop Alexander Steen to the Jori Lehtera line. At the 12:15 mark in the first frame, that move paid off as Schwartz put one through Johnny Oduya’s legs from 15 feet and beat goalie Antti Raanta to knot things up at 1. The score would remain tied 1-1 after the first period, but the Blues did lead in the shots department, 16-9.
With just over 18 minutes passed in the 2nd period, the Blues’ Steve Ott intercepted the puck and fed Maxim LaPierre in transition. LaPierre’s shot was blocked by Raanta and the rebound was knocked in by Ryan Reeves, his first goal in his last 55 games, giving St Louis a 2-1 lead. Shortly after the goal by Reeves, freshly called up from the AHL, Dmitij Jaskin buried a snap shot high and to the stick side of Raanta, giving the Blues a 3-1 lead heading into the locker room.
A 2-goal lead for St Louis doesn’t make a team comfortable in this league, especially when playing Chicago. Under 3 minutes into the third period, Patrick Sharp set up Kris Versteeg with a nice cross-ice pass for an easy goal, making a 1-goal game.
Shortly after the Versteeg goal, TJ Oshie layed a hip-check on Daniel Carcillo, buckling Carcillo’s right knee, forcing him to leave the game. There is no word on the condition of Carcillo and he’ll be re-evaluated Sunday.
Steve Ott was sent to the penalty box late with a slashing minor, and the Blue’s penalty kill unit held their ground. That failed Blackhawk’s power play would be their final real chance to tie things up as the Blues snap a 2 game skid, winning this one 3-2.
Alex Pietrangelo had a great game. He was on the ice for 25:52, chipped in with 2 assists and 3 hits. Goalie Brian Elliott stopped 22 of the 24 shots against him. All around, tonight’s game appeared to be very crisp and well played by the Blues.
The loss for Chicago is their second divisional loss in a row. The Blackhawks (4-2-1) host the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night at 7:00 PM CST.
The Blues (3-3-1) travel to Dallas to take on the Stars this Tuesday at 7:30 CST. That game is on FS-MW and can be heard on KMOX 1120.
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