Chicago
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52-22-8
St. Louis
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40-32-10

30 SOG
35 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
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game recap

Blackhawks 2, Blues 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

Associated Press

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Blackhawks 2, Blues 1
Chicago Blackhawks 2, St. Louis Blues 1

ST. LOUIS (AP) -After dropping three consecutive games, the Chicago Blackhawks were looking to regain their swagger.

They did.

Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist, Antti Niemi stopped 34 shots and the Blackhawks snapped a season-high three-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.

"I don't think we've been very happy with the way we've been playing since Carolina and maybe even before that," said Patrick Sharp, who also scored for the Blackhawks. "We definitely weren't panicking in our locker room, but tonight was a must-win. We wanted to come out and have a good effort against a tough opponent, so getting the early lead was big for us and I think we battled the rest of the way."

The Blackhawks, 0-2-1 in their previous three games, scored a pair of first-period goals and held the Blues off the rest of the way, including killing off St. Louis' 41-second two-man advantage.

Chicago was the last team in the NHL to drop three in a row this season.

"We worked hard, got off to a good start and we knew it was going to be a tight game for three periods," Toews said. "That's a good win, and that's the kind of effort we need to keep showing up with every night."

The Blues, who got a late goal from Alex Steen and 28 saves from Chris Mason, fell to an NHL-worst 9-16-5 on home ice and have dropped two in a row to the Western Conference's top two teams after falling to San Jose on Thursday night.

It was the second straight game the Blues fell behind 2-0 in the first period and could not recover.

"I thought we had very good energy and I thought there was good, physical play early on in that period," Blues coach Davis Payne said. "... The disappointing part in the middle there was our execution of the 5-on-3. We have some situations where we want to go to. ... We've got to make sure we stick to the plan."

After some early hitting by both teams, Sharp gave Chicago a 1-0 lead, converting Toews' pass from the low slot on a one-timer past Mason 5:33 into the first period.

Chicago made it 2-0 when Toews and Kane combined for a goal, with Toews getting his 19th after the Blues' T.J. Oshie tripped over teammate Roman Polak's skates, creating a 2-on-1 with Toews one-timing Kane's pass past Mason at 15:51 of the first.

"I was just playing the puck along the wall and I was battling with Sharp, I think, and all of the sudden, the puck just bounced there and I didn't know it was coming there," Polak said. "(Oshie) just tripped on my foot and I lost the puck and they went on a 2-on-1. I just turned and was trying to get the puck and he was already on the ice."

The Blues thought they had scored to cut Chicago's lead to 2-1 on a goal by Brad Boyes with 3:33 left in the second and the Blues on a 5-on-3 power play. However, referee Dan O'Halloran whistled a scramble in front of Niemi dead, citing that the puck was frozen, but replays clearly showed Niemi never had possession of the puck.

"The puck obviously was loose, we were banging away," Boyes said. "What (O'Halloran) saw was what it kind of what it was. It was sitting there and it kind of popped out and I was able to put it in. He blew it dead obviously before. He thought it was under the goalie and that's it.

"It's a big goal. It kind of gets us going. I felt like it was in, but it didn't (count). We still had other chances, other opportunities, but we didn't get enough."

Steen got the Blues within one with a power-play goal with a two-man advantage, scoring with 1:46 to play. But the Blues could not convert on another late power play, and finished 1 for 8 for the night.

Niemi, who hasn't played since being removed from his last start Jan. 23 in Vancouver, played for the first time since suffering from a stomach flu ailment which forced him to miss a scheduled start Wednesday against the Blues.

"It was very tough," Niemi said. "You have to keep your head in the game and concentrate."

NOTES: The Blues won 3-2 in Chicago on Wednesday night. ... Blues D Erik Johnson has gone 31 games without a goal and has just seven assists in that span after 18 points in 25 games. ... The Blackhawks are 9-1-2 in the second of back-to-back games, including 7-0-2 on the road. ... Blues C Keith Tkachuk (68 games) and LW Paul Kariya (65 games) each have 67 career points against the Blackhawks. ... Blues RW David Perron played in his 200th career game Thursday, becoming the youngest Blue (21) in franchise history to do so. ... Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo was in attendance, sitting in a suite with Blues minority owner Tom Stillman.

scoring summary
1st Period
05:33
CHI
Patrick Sharp (17) ASST: Jonathan Toews (28), Marian Hossa (16)
1 - 0 CHI
15:51
CHI
Jonathan Toews (19) ASST: Patrick Kane (40), Patrick Sharp (28)
2 - 0 CHI
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
18:14
STL
PPG - Alexander Steen (14) ASST: David Perron (17), T.J. Oshie (21)
2 - 1 CHI
penalty summary
1st Period
07:20
STL
Brad Winchester  Hi-sticking against  Colin Fraser
09:49
CHI
Duncan Keith  Slashing against  David Perron
12:29
STL
Barret Jackman  Fighting (maj) against  Cam Barker
12:29
CHI
Cam Barker  Fighting (maj) against  Barret Jackman
17:53
STL
Eric Brewer  Fighting (maj) against  Andrew Ladd
17:53
CHI
Andrew Ladd  Fighting (maj) against  Eric Brewer
2nd Period
04:11
STL
Brad Winchester  Interference against  Brent Seabrook
07:37
CHI
Marian Hossa  Hi-sticking against  David Perron
08:43
STL
Keith Tkachuk  Interference against  Niklas Hjalmarsson
09:14
CHI
Dave Bolland  Tripping against  T.J. Oshie
14:45
CHI
Andrew Ladd  Holding against  Eric Brewer
16:04
CHI
Brent Sopel  Delay of game
18:21
STL
Carlo Colaiacovo  Tripping against  Patrick Sharp
3rd Period
01:42
CHI
Niklas Hjalmarsson  Holding against  Patrik Berglund
06:08
STL
Eric Brewer  Interference against  Colin Fraser
15:01
STL
Alexander Steen  Tripping against  Andrew Ladd
17:22
CHI
Brian Campbell  Hooking against  Jay McClement
17:58
CHI
Brent Sopel  Unsportsmanlike conduct
goalie stats
Antti Niemi
Antti Niemi
14-4-1
SA: 35TOI: 60:00
Saves: 34EV: 19 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 13 - 14
SV%: .971SH: 2 - 2
Chris Mason
SA: 30TOI: 58:44
Saves: 28EV: 16 - 18
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 10
SV%: .933SH: 2 - 2

 
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