It took 65 minutes and a skills competition for the Blackhawks and Blues to decide Saturday night’s game in St. Louis. When the dust settled, the Blues emerged with a 6-5 home victory.
For the Blackhawks, many of the usual suspects stayed hot. Patrick Sharp scored for the fourth time in as many periods to get the Hawks’ started in the first. Andrew Shaw followed with a power play goal just over two minutes later to give the Hawks a two-goal lead.
Maxim Lapierre scored at 14:04 to get the Blues within one, but Patrick Kane made a deposit exactly three minutes later to send the teams to the dressing room with the Blackhawks holding a 3-1 lead. Chicago surrendered only six shots on net in the first 20 minutes.
The second period was dominated by St. Louis, though. Jaden Schwartz scored at 2:46 to once again get the Blues within one, and Dmitrij Jaskin scored his first NHL goal 7:47 to tie the game.
Chicago took a lead to the dressing rooms again, however. Brandon Saad scored his 13th of the year – and first since Dec. 14 – to put the Blackhawks up 4-3 through 40 minutes.
Brent Seabrook scored his fourth of the season 66 seconds into the third period to give the Hawks a 5-3 lead that they would hold for 15 minutes. But goals by Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrik Berglund only 77 seconds apart inside the final four minutes of regulation tied the game.
Berglund’s goal came on the Blues’ fourth power play of the night after the Hawks had successfully killed St. Louis’ first three opportunities with the advantage. But a holding penalty on Niklas Hjalmarsson led to the game-tying goal only 34 seconds into the Blues’ power play.
Tarasenko had a big night for the Blues, scoring his 12th goal of the season in the third period with two assists.
For the Hawks, Kane had one goal and one assist, while Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews had two assists each. Toews won only eight of 18 faceoffs in the game, but his teammates had a strong night at the dot. Marcus Kruger won eight of 11 and Michal Handzus won seven of 10 to lead the effort.
Antti Raanta played the entire 65 minutes and allowed five goals against 25 shots. The skaters in front of Raanta blocked another 18 shots in the game.
Jaroslav Halak got the start for the Blues, but was pulled after allowing three goals against only 13 shots in the first period. Brian Elliott played the final two periods and overtime, allowing two goals against 19 shots.
Bryan Bickell (9:37) and Brandon Bollig (9:38) skated only 14 shifts each, and were both minus-one in the game. They combined for three hits and four blocked shots in the game while accumulating the least ice time on the Hawks’ roster.
Saturday night was the sixth time in 13 games in December that the Blackhawks have scored at least five goals. This was only the second time this season that the Hawks lost a game in which they scored five times; the other was a 6-5 overtime loss in Tampa on Oct. 24.
With the shootout victory, the Blues (25-7-5, 55 points) are now six points behind the Hawks (27-7-7, 61 points) with four games in-hand. The Hawks host the Kings at the United Center on Monday night to close out the 2013 calendar year.