Another third period lead disappeared on Thursday night, and the Hawks were only able t0 take one point away from their division game against the Blues.
Jonathan Toews carried the offense, scoring his 18th goal of the season and then recording his 200th career assist on a filthy dish to Brandon Saad.
One other bright spot for the Hawks was the play of Michal Handzus, the team’s only acquisition before the trade deadline. He won 10 of 14 faceoffs and was credited with three hits in 12:50 on the ice. He was especially effective at the dot in the defensive zone, starting the game on a line with Marcus Kruger but sharing faceoffs duties. Kruger won all four of his faceoffs in the game.
Later in the game, Handzus replaced Andrew Shaw on the third line; Shaw continued to struggle at the dot, winning only three of nine faceoffs. Dave Bolland won only five of 15 faceoffs and was minus-two.
The Hawks allowed only 22 shots in the game, blocking another nine, and killed the one St. Louis powerplay opportunity. The Blackhawks failed on three powerplay chances of their own, though, and continue to struggle with an advantage.
In the shootout, Patrick Kane was able to duplicate the move Toews’ used to beat Elliott. After the Hawks’ first two shooters, though, the script became interesting.
Andrew Shaw shot third, and failed. Marian Hossa shot fourth and opted to use the Dustin Byfuglien load-and-fire method, and scored.
Brandon Saad followed Hossa with a good move, but failed to elevate the puck and was denied. Then Michal Handzus was stopped in the sixth and final round; Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored the game-winner.