CHICAGO - If the Blues could bottle what they did in Game 3 and apply it to tonight’s Game 4 (8:30 p.m., FSMW, Y98), they are optimistic about taking a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series back to St. Louis.
Despite a 2-0 loss Monday, the players and Ken Hitchcock said they were very happy with their effort.
“Best game by far. We played a great game,” Hitchcock said. “We did a lot of things that you want to, it was one of the best road games I’ve ever seen us play. They’re a good team, we knew this was going to be a long series. But we played hard and we played well. We did a lot of things we needed to do to win the hockey game, but you’ve got to give their goalie credit. He was good, especially late.”
In Game 3, the Blues outshot the Blackhawks 35-25 and didn’t give up many great scoring chances, except for a few while shorthanded late in the second period. Ryan Miller came up big on the penalty kill to keep the Blues in the game, but it was Corey Crawford who preserved the one-goal lead for the Blackhawks.
“We’re not disappointed in our play. We’ve been playing a good team game, working hard and really creating a lot,” Jaden Schwartz said Monday. “We didn’t get the right bounce. We’ll make a few adjustments but I think we’re happy with our effort.”
Added Hitchcock, “We’re really starting to gain our confidence back again, and we’re going to need every piece of it to beat this team.”
NO BACKES UPDATE
David Backes didn't skate with the team at United Center, and Hitchcock wouldn't comment on his availability for tonight.
But Hitchcock did offer this: "He's not going to play unless he's healthy. You never know. He could be skating at another rink, he could be doing something else, you don't know. There's a lot of rinks here in Chicago... The way he plays is going to have a huge impact on this series, so if he skated somewhere else and is in fine-tuned condition, you'll see him tonight."
We'll have to wait and see.
Hitchcock did say that Brenden Morrow (lower-body) will be out for the rest of the series.
Hitchcock said when you play a defending champion like the Blackhawks, you have to beat their resolve more than their skill.
“They’re not a defending champion because they’ve got skill, it’s because they’ve got resolve,” he said. “It is one hell of a challenge. Sometimes you do it, and sometimes you don’t. I can tell you one thing, every time we play like we (can) play, we get better as a team and better as an organization, and we get closer and closer. They know we’re not going away easy.
“There’s a certain resolve that is required to win championships, and that team over there has got it, and we’re trying to take it back from them.”
WHERE TO WATCH
The Blues are hosting an official watch party at FOX Sports Live at Ballpark Village. Head out there beginning at 7 p.m. to enjoy Game 4 on a 40-foot screen with Louie, Angella and the Blue Crew.
The puck drops at 8:30 p.m.
Steve Ott won a postseason career-high 14 faceoffs (14 for 20) in Game 3, which doubled his previous career-best.
Alex Pietrangelo has six assists in his last eight games vs. Chicago.
Jaden Schwartz has two goals and one assist in his last three against the Blackhawks.
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