Blackhawks Blow Late Lead, Blues Win In Shootout

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.

22 thoughts on “Blackhawks Blow Late Lead, Blues Win In Shootout

  1. Before any goes off the deep end with this loss, let’s remember, the Hawks dominated for a lot of this game…and while full credit should be given to St. Louis for never getting discouraged or quitting, the only reason they won the game in a SO was Anti Raanta…the young net minder had a ROUGH night…IMO far worse than in Toronto…

    In doing a little “investigating” about Raanta, I was told that he is a highly emotional young man, which for a goalie isn’t always the best thing…Ranta knew playing at the Gardens in TO was a big thing in the NHL, and he knew playing the Blues in Saint Lou was also a “big deal”…and was nervous and passive all night in net…when Raanta first started in Chicago he was very inconsistent with his angles and his positioning…over the last 3 weeks he has become much more consistent with his angles, but NOT his positioning…3 of the 5 Blues goals found the undersized Raanta DEEP in his net…a bigger goalie like Elliot, or perhaps even Crawford, might have stopped some of those goals by the pucks simply hitting them or their equipment…but with Raanta, this doesn’t often happen because he is so small. For Raanta, when he’s confident and aggressive, and gets out on top of his crease, he is a good goalie…when he’s nervous and passive, and plays deep in his net, he can get shelled…he got shelled tonight.

    So before anyone (hi Wall!) gets too concerned that this Hawk’s team “can’t” beat Saint Lou, think again…the Hawks are more than capable of beating the Blues…but we must have solid goaltending against them…so far this season, we haven’t got it…and here’s another nice little point to remember…the Hawks controlled a lot of the play, and directed more shots and scoring chances than the Blues, but WE were called for 4 minor penalties, including one late, and the Blues only one…which we converted…in a game like that, the penalties should have favoured the Hawks or been a “draw” not lop sided for the Blues…

    Saint Lou had no business winning this game, but they did…the Hawks just need to get CC healthy and continue to work with Raanta on his positioning and forget completely about losing this game…if the Hawks continue to play like this, they are going to keep the loss tally firmly at 7 for a while regardless of the opposition…

    One last point…Bickell has to get better…he was a step too slow again tonight and is hurting the 3rd line, much in the same way that Bollig hurts the 4th line…Smith and Kruger have lots of ability, and when they shift with Saad at times, they become lethal, like they were again tonight…its a shame that they aren’t given more chances to play with a more talented forward…and Shaw and Saad are simply WAY TO GOOD to be playing 10 minutes a night…and this has gone on for a long time now, as Q hasn’t trusted their RW in a long time…

  2. Blues have Hawks #… and with the new Playoff format – it will be tough to avoid Blues.

    Lots of bad things…
    BBank, Bollig, Hawks can’t clear bodies in front of net ( that is one of primary reasons Hawks don’t match up w/ Blues- who always seem to score scramble-in front of net/deflections vs. Hawks).
    Versteeg was nearly invisible all nite-
    Bickell does not look well.

    Actually thought Hawks should have lost 10-5… Raanta made several Grade A saves (and let up the softie/to tie game).

    The only positive- perhaps someone else will get serious look- cuz 52 was bad! I was quite happy when I saw 20 w/ 28/16 a few time late- perhaps Q’s luv affair w/ 52 is over!

    To clear players in front of net:
    Another Crazy idea- I wouldn’t mind seeing Dahlbeck get some time – even if it means
    moving BBank to 4th line wing (and scratching 52)… Just want to see what the kid has- and if Morin isn’t going to get the chance- but 52 should just play when there are injuries!

    Hartman would be an even better option!

  3. Brad- I was writing at same time as you…
    You are spot on regarding 16/28 playing 4th line by themselves… Hartman, Morin, McNeill, BBank (w Dahlbeck getting look) – ALL better options!!!

    Also, spot on- 29 is SLOW!

    But I don’t agree on Raanta/And Hawks dominated??? You might be right on some of Rants bad positioning… but the kid made 3-4 Grade A saves!!! Honestly – Blues had much better Grade A chances-IMO!!!

    And ya read me like a book- I know the Hawks can beat the Blues… But I really favor the Blues in seven game series- Blues- get bodies to the net(and Hawks can’t clear them away)… Hawks don’t cycle well vs. Blues- cuz the Blues are strong enough and quick enough to win more One-on-One battles then other teams!

  4. Wall, the Hawks should have won that game 6-2…and the Hawk’s were far from awful…the Blues are a big, determined team and its hard to knock them off the puck consistently, or to clear from the front of the net…that’s why puck control, which we had a lot of tonight, is the recipe to beat the Blues…they can’t really storm our crease when we are swarming around their net…

    Raanta had a bad night…twice the Blues shot the puck into his glove, but really, he was nervous and shaky through out…and in the SO, he was caught out of position on most shots…he remains a work in progress…lots of talent Wall, but with his size he has to be perfect with his positioning…that’s why Raanta always seems to allow 2 goals against even in our wins…he just isn’t consistent.

    And the Hawks don’t need to panic about a thing…I am NOT a Sheldon Brookbank lover, but he’s not a problem, and he wasn’t “awful” tonight at all…and even Bollig wasn’t horrible…he just doesn’t add anything to that young, dynamic 4th line…hopefully Q will see this…

    The Hawks ARE the elite team in the NHL and given a 7 game series against the Blues, they will beat them…guaranteed my friend!

    And one other note, Toews is right back to the top of his game…his wrist might still be affecting him on the draws a little, but his energy, strength, smarts and vision are all back to their elite level…and with Sharp continuing at this pace and Hossa slowly getting better, the Hawks are a real terror for opposing teams!

    A young, nervous goalie cost us that game tonight, now its time to move on…

  5. The Hawks are better than the Blues. That is not even debatable in my opinion. The Blues tried really hard, got lucky and got some breaks from the refs. The no call on Toews in the OT was outrageous. Yet they called the ticky tack on Hammer to give the Blues a chance at the end of regulation. What about the blatant interference no call on Saad earlier and there was more. It was a very annoying loss. But St. Louis isn’t going anywhere so they can enjoy their championship moment tonight because its all they are going to get this year.

  6. BTW Wall, the one kid from Rockford that should be given a stint up here is Garret Ross…while the Hogs continue to spiral, and NO ONE is showing any confidence, especially Pirri and Morin, Ross has become the go to guy on the team and a real leader…he is moving up their scoring charts and is one of the few players that is a + skater…he is very positionally sound and strong on the puck…he’s just a go0d, consistent, 2 way hockey player…and he’s going to be a Hawk soon IMO.

  7. Pete, the biggest opposition to the Hawks are themselves…I really feel the Hawks have no peers in terms of talent and depth in the entire league…however, there are lots of good teams that will work hard every night as well…all the Hawks have to do, is come to play focused each night, and they will continue to roll…

  8. I agree with Pete. Tim Peel is the worst ref in the nhl. Read Mark Jones article in Bleacher Report (

  9. Thanks Milton. Its tough to post a complaint about the refs because the legions out there always want to call the person that makes the post a cry-baby and a whiner. I don’t care. The blatantly obvious slashing no call on Toews was outrageous as were a few more calls that ALL went St. Louis’s way and that kept them in the game when the game should have been over. Hitchcock knows they were lucky to benefit from that.

  10. It’s bad form to complain about the officiating, so I won’t mention how bad the officiating was last night. Instead, I’ll compliment the striped shirts for not calling the Hawks for wardrobe malfunctions and faceoff violations last night … I suppose that’s progress. I’ll just add that I hope in the future the officiating will consider calling a penalty for a two handed whack across the stick of a Hawks player on a breakaway … at least give it a moment of consideration, if it’s not too much trouble.

    St. Louis won again … after three in a row I’m forced to give them some credit. It pains me to say this but the Blues are a pretty good team and would be a difficult playoff opponent. I kinda hope we see them in the playoffs so we can decide which team is better without having to use a shootout.

  11. I didnt get to see much, but am I to believe that StL played 65mins with only 2 pim? C’mon, that’s absurd. Its a frustrating loss, no doubt, but 3 out of 4pts on b2b is ok. If we can knock off LA(who we dominated last time) thats 5/6 in a 3g-4night run so lets hope thats how we end this up. The Blues can gloat all they want, all 3 games could have gone either way and the season series wont mean jack come April.

  12. Brad, is 61 still playing with 24 & 15. Ross is 20/21 this year right like Shawzer was in his first year, when he played in the 2nd 4o games that year.

    We can’t even get 5 out of every 10 games, evenly ref’d. Cross check to the side of Versteeg head against the glass & Backnees knee to knee. Those types of teams are not bottom 10 teams and therefore do not need to make the game ‘closer’.

  13. Brad- Hartman, Hino, Morin, Ross- Dahlbeck… are all better options than “the Enforcer” Bollig…

    I have been a Big Hino fan for a while… guy puts up good #’s everywhere he plays… and skates/passes very well… is a very good fit in the Hawks style of play… Just get a little stronger and he is a Mini version of St. Louis from Tampa…

    You can say what you want… but Blues were missing 3-4 Star players and still made Hawks look bad for a lot of the game…

    Tarasenko- IS A STUD!!! I hope TT can be nearly that good… He is so patient/strong!

  14. Mo, as soon as Ross was moved from Danault and McNeil, those two have gone into a point scoring drought…Ross is now predominantly with Nordstrom and Winchester…and now that line is the only line producing…Ross, very quickly, has become the glue that holds the Hogs together…McNeil is a good player, but I don’t see the same level of leadership out of him, or still the same consistency…and as for Danault, he is a very responsible player, but right now he has hands of stone…Danault could have potted 6 goals over the last 4 games and has nothing to show for it…at some point he has to generate some production…and this is what Ross is doing, he does all the little things well AND generates points…

  15. Wall, Tarasenko is a nice, young player, but TT will have to fill out a TON before he becomes that good…look at Kruger…he showed so much when he first came to the Hawks and everyone said, he just needs to put on some muscle…now he has, and he’s a force for us…the same goes for Nordstrom…he’s a very nice, young player, but needs to put muscle on his frame to get back here…I have no doubt that Nordstrom will return to the Hawks next year, and will contribute…the same will be true for TT…he is simply too slight to win the puck battles that Tarasenko does to generate that level of offence…

    When TT does put on that weight, like Kane today or Versteeg, he will become a deadly NHL player, but not before…

    As for Hino…he really does have a shot, even being as small as he is…as you rightly point out, Hino is built a lot like St. Louis…both have strong lower bodies to protect their smaller frames…it is very tough to take the puck off of Hino…so he has a chance…in fact, if the Broadhurts can develop their strength, they too could stick, as they are both smart, talented players…

    The big one for me, moving forward, is Kevin Hayes…what a season he is having…he has finally meshed his skating and agility with his big frame…and now he is a weapon…if he was a little hockey smarter, I would even go as far to say he would have a shot at a roster spot next season…but I don’t see the intelligence in his game as I do in say Ross or Danault…but Hayes is going to be a stud for us…

    And to Pete, ER, etc…the refs were BLIND to what St. Louis was doing…there is no doubt about it…but, the Hawks lost due to goaltending…and that will get fixed…

  16. I don’t think I’ve seen one comment on how bad Seabrook was. Weird.

    I’m not overly concerned for the long run. Hawks seemed to let up a bit after the dominating first.

  17. Sr. Brad is entirely and exactly correct in his first post. The Hawks would have won this game going away if they’d had capable goaltending. Raanta has performed better than we could have hoped for, but not in this game, and it was evident in the opening period that he was not confident. I hoped he was going to get pulled once the Blues tied it at 3 as he just didn’t have it—way too deep in the net; slow to get back into position when shots were blocked or went wide of the net; not the usual side to side quickness he’s often demonstrated. He’s consistently stellar with his glove hand, but it’s often scary when the puck is shot flat along the ice. The Hawks have really picked up their defensive zone game since Crawford went down as they know their current net minder needs all the help he can get, but against St. Louis on Saturday not even all the help in the world was going to pull this one out for Raanta. He stunk, early and often…but he’s still done great considering, and as long as Crawford and the Hawks are healthy by playoff time, I think we’re going to enjoy the springtime.

  18. I am not going to complain one bit about Raanta. Third string goalie thrust into play at the NHL level with 2 months North American experience and is something like 8-1-3. He has started the last 12 games….etc….etc. We all know he is really not NHL ready at this point. I have said before, his success truly comes from the play in front of him. Raanta is not in a position to steal a game for us…..and the Hawks know this. But, I for one, am extremely happy with Raanta and the Hawks play in front of him over the past 12 games.

  19. JS, 7 is an enigma for me . I was very critical of him last yr. Then he gets 2 huge gwg in playoffs. I swore he would receive clemency from further criticism after that but it aint easy,ha. He has been much better this year, dont ya think?

  20. Mike, I agree with your comments about Raanta…he’s been fantastic considering the circumstances…Ryan, I am not sure why JS singled out Seabrook…I thought he played well, and as for this season? I see Seabrook as a Norris Trophy candidate…

  21. I like this word… enigma… sounds like the name of a Batman villain

    Pretty accurate description all kidding aside. Still better than a lot of defenders at 5.8per even when brain farting all over himself.

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