– Photo By Ryan Leopando / Arch City Sports
The Blues traveled to the windy city Wednesday night to take on their arch rival, the Chicago Blackhawks. Tonight’s game is the second of a four game road trip, and first of back-to-back nights of playing a divisional foe as St. Louis takes on the Nashville Predators Thursday night. Chicago would send out Antti Raanta between the pipes, who has not played since losing to the Blues in St Louis on October 25th. Jake Allen would be in net for the Note and would be playing his first game as a teammate of Martin Brodeur.
Chicago tallied the first goal when Ian Cole turned the puck over near the blue line and gave the Blackhawks a two-on-two chance in transition. Brandon Saad fed teammate Marcus Kruger in the slot for Kruger’s fourth goal of the season.
Ian Cole redeemed himself midway through the second period. Patrik Berglund got the puck in front of the crease and found Cole streaking in from the point. Cole beat Raanta for his second goal of the season, tying things at two.
It was looking like the third period was going to hold a lot of drama, as this game was very well played by both teams through the first two periods. However, Cole’s goal turned out to be the Blues lone bright spot in the game.
The Blackhawks came out of the locker room executing their passes and not missing any opportunities as they scored three goals in the first six minutes of the third frame.
First, Kris Versteeg buried a one-timer from Jonathan Toews to give Chicago a 2-1 lead. Shortly after taking the lead, Versteeg found Patrick Kane in the high slot. Kane blasted a wrist shot by Jake Allen to give the Hawks a two goal lead.
Kane struck again at the 5:19 mark. Versteeg flipped the puck over the defense with a perfectly placed pass that led Kane to his second goal of the game, and his twelfth of the season.
In the last minute of play, there was a scrum in front of the Chicago net. David Backes looked like he was a little frustrated with the way the night unwound as he grabbed Brent Seabrook and threw a couple of punches. Backes would be ejected from the game.
Backes’ leadership could have probably been used a little earlier in the period, as the Blackhawks went on to win 4-1.
The win improves Chicago’s record to 16-8-1 and puts them one point back of St. Louis and Nashville in the Central Division with 33 points. The Blues’ record falls to 16-7-2, and 6-3-1 over their last ten games. The Blues will take on the Predators in Nashville Thursday night in a battle of first place teams. Puck drops at 7 PM CST and can be seen on FS-MW or heard on KMOX 1120.