The Blues arrived in Chicago tied with the Blackhawks in their Quarterfinal series. With two impressive road wins, they come home to St. Louis with the opportunity to punch their ticket to the Semis after winning 4-3 in Game 4.
The only goal of the first period was an absolute rifle from First Star of the Game Vladimir Tarasenko on Corey Crawford’s glove side, assisted by Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz with 5:58 remaining in the frame.
Although the Notes had the lead on the scoreboard, it was actually the Blackhawks who led the period in shots with 14, but St. Louis countered by continuing their physical ways with a solid 17 hits in the opening frame.
By deflecting an initial slap shot from Marian Hossa (who was set up by Erik Gustafsson) into net, Andrew Shaw leveled game for the Hawks at the 9:12 mark. Third Star Duncan Keith struck again 3:57 later on the power play to give Chicago the lead, assisted by Shaw and Patrick Kane. With 2:29 remaining in the period, Tarasenko struck again to take advantage of an Andrew Ladd interference penalty with a power play wrister assisted by Alexander Steen and Kevin Shattenkirk. As the last goal of the period, the game entered the second intermission tied at two-all.
After two, Chicago still led the game with 28 shots to St. Louis‘ 15, but the Notes had a 20 hit lead on the home Hawks.
A minute and a second after play resumed, Keith was caught holding Lehtera. 35 seconds later, Schwartz earned the Blues their second lead of the night with a power play wrister assisted by David Backes and Shattenkirk. Steen waited 3:10 before increasing the Blues‘ lead to two goals. It was a sweet steal on a pass in Chicago‘s defensive end that he fired over the surprised Crawford’s glove.
Keith pulled Chicago back within a goal with 5:20 to go in regulation with a wrister, assisted by Artemi Panarin and Shaw.
The game effectively ended with 2:04 remaining in regulation when Shaw was called for interference against Jay Bouwmeester. Before making his way to the box, Shaw was seen choosing two particular fingers to convey a message to the referee, and they certainly weren’t thumbs up. Following the horn, Shaw initiated a scrum with Pietrangelo in Second Star Brian Elliott’s end, and he continued to fight even after the referee was making every attempt to separate the two.
These actions in addition to some choice words that, if I’m to trust my lip reading abilities, were homosexual slurs directed at the official, Shaw may be receiving at least a fine from the league, if not a suspension. It is a shame that he allowed the Blues to get to him so much, as he had one of the best games of the night for the Blackhawks before all the debauchery.
Elliott earns the win after saving 39 of the 42 shots he faced (92.9%), while Crawford takes the loss, saving 16 of 20 (80%).
With that win, the Blues return to St. Louis with a 3-1 series lead and the opportunity to punch their ticket to the Western Semifinals on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. eastern. That contest can be viewed on NBCSN, SN or TVAS.