Chicago at St. Louis – Game 2 – Keith returns to level the series for the Hawks

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Duncan Keith doesn’t play in Game 1, the Blues take advantage to take a series lead.  He plays Game 2, and now the Hawks have home ice advantage, winning 3-2.

A scoreless, highly defensive first period had many thinking Game 2 would be similar to the first.  Only nine combined shots were fired in the opening frame, with Chicago firing only two, even though both sides had a power play opportunity each.

Second Star of the Game (although I would argue he is not deserving of the honor due to his involvement in a future play) Vladimir Tarasenko finally scored the first regulation goal of the series at the 15:20 mark of the second period on a wrister from between the dots, assisted by Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera.  The Blues‘ lead didn’t last long though, as Keith’s slap shot, assisted by Third Star Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews with five seconds remaining in the period, leveled the game.

Similar to the period before, the third was more than half complete before the third goal was scored.  Before that happened though, Tarasenko committed a slashing penalty on Andrew Shaw, earning him a two minute break in the sin bin.  With seven seconds remaining on the power play, and 4:19 remaining in regulation, Shaw himself made Vladi pay, assisted by Brent Seabrook and Kane to give Chicago the lead.  They scored an insurance goal on an empty net with 1:26 remaining when Artemi Panarin tipped-in Keith’s initial attempt, and it proved to be necessary as Kevin Shattenkirk connected on a slap shot off a David Backes face-off win, but with only two seconds remaining in the game.

First Star Corey Crawford earns the leveling win after saving 29 of 31 shots faced (93.5%), while Brian Elliott takes the loss after saving 26 of 28 (92.9%).

The squads will board planes tonight or tomorrow and make their way to Chicago for Game 3, which will take place at 3 p.m. eastern on Sunday.  It may be viewed on NBC, SN or TVAS.

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