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Blues Defeat Hawks 4-3

Dan W Boter via flickr.com

NHL

The St. Louis Blues went into game 4 looking to extend their series lead to 3-1 over the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, who looked to tie the series up at 2 before heading back to St. Louis for game 5 of the series. The Blues left the United Center with a win, putting them 1 away from eliminating the Blackhawks. The Blues had 2 goals from Vladimir Tarasenko, and 1 from each of Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen. The Hawks saw Andrew Shaw score 1 goal, and 2 from Duncan Keith.

In the first, Tarasenko gave the Blues an early lead. Jori Lehtera found Tarasenko along the boards, who fired the puck past goaltender Corey Crawford. The Blackhawks would find the back of the net in the second period, however, when Andrew Shaw deflected a Marian Hossa shot from the blue line, tying the game at 1. The Hawks would take the lead just minutes later, after Keith scored. Keith found a rebound and was able to bury it into the net before goaltender Brian Elliot was able to get it.  The goal was scored on a power play for the Blackhawks, after Crawford went after Blues forward Robby Fabbri, who had a collision with Crawford, receiving a penalty for goaltender interference despite being pushed into Crawford by Hawks forward Jonathan Toews. Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk, as well as Blackhawks forward Andrew Ladd, all had penalties on the play as well, setting up the power play. Later in the second, the Blues would tie the game on a goal by Tarasenko, his second of the game. Tarasenko shot the puck from the face off circle, and beat Crawford.

In the third, Blues forward Jaden Schwartz buried the puck in the net from between the face off circles to give the Blues a 3-2 lead. Just minutes later, Steen stole the puck from Blackhawks rookie defender Trevor Van Reimsdyk, skating into the offensive zone on a breakaway before shooting the puck past Crawford, making it a 4-2 lead for the Blues. But the Hawks didn’t quit yet, as Keith found the back of the net for the second himself, cutting the deficit to just 1. But the Hawks comback was cut short. With just over 2 minutes left in the game, Hawks forward Andrew Shaw cross checked a Blues player into the net after the whistle, resulting in a 2 minute penalty, and forcing the Blackhawks to play shorthanded to finish out the game. The Blues scored an empty net goal that was called back after the Blackhawks challenged for offside on the play, but they held on, defeating the Blackhawks 4-3.