Photo by: (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
It’s been a road trip to forget for the St. Louis Blues as the team dropped its second straight, this time to the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0.
Brian Elliott made his eighth-straight start since Jake Allen went down with a lower-body injury and made 23 stops in the loss.
His counterpart, Corey Crawford, was flawless recording his league-leading seventh shutout by stopping 25 shots.
Following the loss, the Blues fall to 28-16-8 for 64 points. The Blues sit just one point behind the Dallas Stars for third place in the division, but the Chicago Blackhawks no lead the Blues by six points in the Central.
Despite being outshot 12-6 in the first period, Chicago fought back in the second period.
Late in the period with the game still looking for its first tally, Patrick Kane entered the attacking zone and threaded a beautiful back-hand saucer pass across the ice to Artemi Panarin. Panarin fired a one timer that ramped off Kevin Shattenkirk’s stick for the goal.
The goal ended Chicago’s scoreless streak at 155:43 of play.
The game remained 1-0 until the third period when the Blackhawks’ power play came through with a key goal.
Despite the Blues having the third best statistical penalty kill in the league, Chicago was able to work the puck around the umbrella at the point with ease. Trevor van Riemsdyk passed to Marian Hossa who took a slap shot on net. Andrew Shaw was in front of the crease and able to deflect the shot past Elliott. The goal put the Hawks in front 2-0 with 15:04 left in regulation.
There were only a total of two power plays in the entire game, one for each team, and Chicago’s conversion ended up making a big difference.
The Blues piled up some chances in the final minute with the extra attacker, but Crawford stood tall in the win.
The lone positive was this game marked David Backes’s 700th career NHL game.
The Blues will close out their road trip against the Nashville Predators Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.