Blues hope for extra boost from home crowd

Blues hope for extra boost from home crowd
April 25, 2014, 3:30 pm
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Nina Falcone

The Chicago Blackhawks have yet to record a win in St. Louis this season, but the Blues aren't using that as a reason to take their upcoming Game 5 matchup against the defending champions lightly in any way.

After how close the first four games of the opening-round playoff series were played, both teams will look to use whatever they can to their advantage; every small boost in momentum can make the difference at this point.

The Blues are confident a return home may be just what they need.

"Playing in front of our own fans," defenseman Alex Pietrangelo answered when asked about what could help his team get their momentum back. "We won both of our games at home. We seem to dictate more at home than on the road, so if we can get off to an early start in front of the home fans, it's going to give us a little bit of an extra jump." 

[MORE: Five things to watch in Game 5: Blackhawks vs. Blues]

After the Blackhawks recorded their second straight victory in a 4-3 overtime win in Game 4, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said the series momentum swung in the Blackhawks' favor.

His players, on the other hand, said they were still confident in the product they put out on the ice, despite the outcome in their back-to-back losses. 

"Nobody's panicking," defenseman Jay Bouwmeester told reporters. "We're not in a bad spot. It's tied and we still have home ice. We have a good opportunity here. I don't think anyone's worried where we're at or anything like that. We're not."

[RELATED: Blackhawks' Kris Versteeg aware of late offensive struggles]

Momentum hasn't just shifted between teams from game to game; this series has been so close that it's shifted from period to period. 

The Blues weren't left with a bad taste following their matchups in Chicago and felt the final two games could have gone to either team. But now it's going to be about them capturing that slight edge if they want to regain a lead in the series. 

"The biggest thing for us is to not let (the Blackhawks') momentum get to be such a high for them to where confidence builds," forward T.J. Oshie said. "When the momentum's heavily in their favor, they take over games and their elite players take over games. They're going to get their chances. Everyone in playoffs is going to get their chances, but we've got to limit how long they can get their chances and how long the momentum's on their side and when it is, we've got to regroup and just get the puck deep and go at them."