UA-59049186-1 Blackhawks 4, Blues 2 - Recap - Good if it Goes

Blackhawks 4, Blues 2 – Recap

The last game of the Blackhawks’ long road trip saw them at the Scottrade Center to take on the Central division-rival St. Louis Blues, who came into the game with a six-point lead in the standings. Early on, the Blues controlled the action, with a good deal of the action in the early going taking place in the Blackhawks’ defensive zone, but it was the Blackhawks who scored the game’s first goal, when Marcus Kruger, who was without a point in his last 20 games, beat Brian Elliot on a 2-on-1 just over four-and-a-half minutes in. The goal seemed to energize the Hawks, who began to pick up their play afterward. The Hawks would get the game’s first power play just over eight-and-a-half minutes in, when Ryan Reaves was sent off for tripping Teuvo Teräväinen. The Hawks got a couple chances on the man advantage, but nothing got past Elliott, and the score remained 1-0 Hawks. The Blues would get their first power play late in the period when Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews shot the puck out of play from his defensive zone, resulting in a delay of game penalty. The Blackhawks did a great job of limiting opportunities for the Blues, keeping the score 1-0 at the end of the first twenty, although the Blues would take 15 seconds of power play time into the second.

The Hawks were able to kill off the last fifteen second of the Toews penalty to start the second. Just as they did to start the first, the Blues controlled the action early in the second, but were able to keep the momentum going longer into the period. They would get their first goal of the game just under 7 minutes into the period when Corey Crawford was badly beaten on a breakaway by Vladimir Tarasenko. The Hawks would reclaim the lead when Bryan Bickell picked up a big rebound given up by Brian Elliot and made him pay by putting it into the back of the net just under eleven-and-a-half minutes into the period. The lead would be short-lived, though, as just under a minute-and-a-half later, David Backes picked up a rebound given up by Crawford and tied the game at 2. Both teams would get chances the rest of the way in the second, but none would go in, and after 2, we were tied at 2.

The Hawks got out to a better start in the third period than they did in either of the previous two, getting the better chances early on. The Blues picked up their pace, but the Hawks answered, leading to some nice back-and-forth action. The period’s first highlight came when Steve Ott hit Marcus Kruger into the boards, causing Kruger’s helmet to come off. Daniel Carcillo took exception to the hit and went after Ott. Gloves were dropped, but there wasn’t much of a fight, as the linesmen were quick to break it up. Regardless, both players were assessed fighting majors, in Carcillo’s case, his second in as many games.

The Blackhawks would get the period’s first power play after Jay Bouwmeester was sent off for hooking just over halfway into the period. The Hawks would take the lead on this power play when Marian Hossa lit the lamp after a great pass from Brandon Saad. After the Hawks’ goal, the Blues looked to answer with a great possession at their offensive end, but nothing got past Crawford and the Hawks retained their 3-2 lead. As the game began to wind down, the Blues got a couple more nice scoring chances, but nothing got past Crawford, who on one occasion, made a phenomenal save to preserve the Hawks’ lead. As time began to wind down, the Hawks had a great possession in their offensive zone that took a great deal of time off the clock and prevented St. Louis from getting Elliott off for the extra attacker. Once they finally did, they weren’t able to get organized, and Hossa was eventually able to control the puck, get a good look at the empty net, and light the lamp for the second time in the game, for what would be the game’s final goal. The Hawks would wrap up the road trip with a 4-2 victory in St. Louis.

One thing I was really impressed with in this one was how well the fourth line played. Kruger got the scoring started for the Hawks and Carcillo and Ben Smith provided nice offense as well. Also worth noting is the play of rookie Teuvo Teräväinen. While he had a couple chances on odd-man rushes where he probably should have pulled the trigger with a shot, he has been showing great awareness on both ends of the ice as of late, and is rarely caught out of position. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I see no point in even considering sending Teräväinen back to Rockford once Kris Versteeg is healthy. I think Teräväinen has gotten as good as he’ll get in Rockford. If the Hawks don’t think Teräväinen’s ready to center a line in the NHL just yet, then leave him at wing, as he seems to have really settled into that third line right wing spot.

My picks for 3 stars:

★★★ Brandon Saad, LW, CHI (2 A)

★★ Marian Hossa, RW, CHI (2 G (GWG))

★ Corey Crawford, G, CHI (25 SV, 2 GA)

Twitter: @KSchroeder2325

E-mail: schroeder.giig@gmail.com

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