ST. LOUIS – The Chicago Blackhawks know what they get from the St. Louis Blues, a tough team that will make you pay if you don’t put them away.
They were reminded of that on Friday night.
Patrick Kane’s goal and two assists extended his point streak to a career-best 14 consecutive games, but the Blues erased a few two-goal deficits en route to a 6-5 shootout victory on Saturday night. The Blackhawks gained a point, but it’s the opportunity to gain the second point they let slip away several times.
“That’s a tough one there,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We had a couple looks in overtime, and in the shootout two chances as well. They turned it up in the second period and we didn’t have the great response we needed. Still, we were in good shape, 5-3 game (early in the third). But you can’t let two goal lead (get away).”
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The Blues erased two two-goal deficits, the first a 3-1 Blackhawks advantage that became 3-3 by the second period. The second one, however, is the one that was costly.
Brent Seabrook’s very long-distance shot somehow eluded Blues goaltender Brian Elliott 1:06 into the third period, giving the Blackhawks a 5-3 edge. They kept that lead until there was 3:51 remaining in the third, when Vladimir Tarasenko’s 12th of the season got the Blues to within 5-4. Just 1:17 later, Patrik Berglund’s power-play goal tied it at 5-5. The Blackhawks had their opportunities in overtime and the shootout, but they came up short on that second point on their second consecutive night of action.
“It’s frustrating,” said Kane, who now has 23 goals and 30 assists this season. “I thought we were playing good in the third, too, and they get a chance and score and then get one on the power play. Right now it seems like they have our number this year. We’ll try to get back at them next time we play.”
The Blackhawks are now 7-0-3 on the second half of back to backs this season.
“That’s a good team over there,” Kris Versteeg said. “Maybe we ran out of a little steam to finish the game off. The first period we played the way we wanted, but all in all it was a pretty good game for us. Obviously we’re not happy with letting one go but that’s going to happen in the course of a season.”
Kevin Shattenkirk got the shootout winner for the Blues. Patrick Sharp scored his 22nd goal of the season. Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad also scored for the Blackhawks.
Sure, the Blackhawks are going to have nights where they miss out on a point here or there. But the Blues have now collected six points in their first three meetings against the Blackhawks this season. The Blackhawks know they’re in for more tussles with the Blues, whether it’s in the regular- or (potentially) postseason.
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“It seems to be a rivalry that’s developing and you never want to give a team six points the three times you play. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen next time,” Kane said. “But wit that being said, it’s 5-3 with a couple minutes left, they had the momentum, and we got a point. I guess that’s one positive you can take.”