Blues Overcome Hawks In Home Finale

Jonathan Toews extended his point streak to six games with the Blackhawks’ only regulation goal. And, with an assist on Toews’ goal, Patrick Kane is now at 103 points with one regular season game left on the schedule.

Unfortunately, one goal wasn’t enough.

The Hawks had a few other great chances to score, including a penalty shot for Andrew Ladd with 4:58 left in regulation, but Brian Elliott was up to the task. St. Louis’ starting netminder stopped 21 of 22 in regulation to keep his team in the game just long enough for some late heroics.

With Elliott just getting to the bench, Vlad Tarasenko’s 38th goal of the season tied the game with 76 seconds remaining in regulation.

Tarasenko’s game forced overtime, which locks the Blackhawks into third place in the Central Division. St. Louis will face Washington and Dallas will play Nashville to close out the season. The Hawks will begin on the road.

Scott Darling was good, stopping 28 of 29 in regulation. He got a lot of help; Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked seven shots in regulation and Trevor van Riemsdyk saved a goal in the third period by clearing a puck away from a wide open net.

Early in overtime, Kane had two great chances – including a breakaway – that were both stopped by Elliott. The Blues had a great chance stopped a combination of TvR and Darling that required a review, but there was no goal on the play.

Late in overtime, a pass behind Kane turned into a breakaway for for the Blues and Tarasenko ended the game with his 39th on the year. Darling had a terrific overtime before the tic-tac-toe passing sequence set up the game-winner, but the Blues earned the second point.

The Hawks were perfect against two Blues power plays, continuing a terrific renaissance while short-handed. Since March 14, the Hawks have killed 31 of 33 penalties over 12 games (93.9 percent).

Toews won 11 of 14 faceoffs in the loss and finished with a team-leading five shots on net.

Chicago was without Marian Hossa, Andrew Shaw, Artem Anisimov, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford. Bryan Bickell returned to the lineup and skated 9:11 with two hits and one blocked shot.

St. Louis was without Jake Allen, David Backes, Robby Fabbri and Robert Bortuzzo.

37 thoughts on “Blues Overcome Hawks In Home Finale

  1. Re: Mox jumping ship – “this team” that you claim lacked killer instinct on Thursday night was without Keith, Hossa, Shaw and Crawford. But yeah, they’re lost.

  2. Good news… I felt Hawks really out played the Blues most of the Game… good pace… lots of grade A chances…

    Bad news- They might be Playing Dallas (instead of Blues)… Very bad news

  3. I liked the way the Hawks played – it was playoff caliber hockey and just what I wanted to see, even more than a win. The Hawks can win on the road if they’re playing good team defense and tonight they played good team defense. The PK continues to be very good. As long as the Hawks get the injured players back I like our chances in the playoffs.

    Panik played another good game all over the ice and is making a strong case for staying in the lineup when in injured players return. Hopefully after Saturday we see the last of Mashinter and Bickell and Q can figure out how to spread the bottom-6 using 7 guys who are playing well enough to be in the lineup – Shaw, Kruger, TT, Desjardins, Fleischmann, Panik and Weise.

  4. Hard to lose but loved the play from Panik, and Panarin also showed fight. These 2 could be difference makers in the playoffs. Keep Panik in the lineup when the playoffs start? Defense looked good- TVR had a good game.
    Hoping some players rest for CBJ and watch while the Stars and Blues fight it out for 1st.

  5. I actually prefer #14 on 1st RW… that line has looked very solid in the games Panik– aka- “the Nomadic Roster Filler” has started there… better Cycle/Puck possession/scoring.

    Let Hoss play 3rd line– and I am perfectly fine with TT on 2nd line with or without Anisimov in the line up…

    12/AA/81 would be a GREAT line!!! especially as a 3rd line!!!
    16/19/14– you have 3 strong guys w/ some speed/that all go to the net hard and often.

  6. Pretty sure Benn won’t garner 16 points in his one remaining game to overcome Kane for the Art Ross. So there is that. First American born to win the darn thing and it’s been since Stan Mikita in 67-68 since a Blackhawk won it. He deserves the Hart as well and let’s hope that happens. Calder to Panarin for sure.

    I’m sure if the Committed Indians had an award it would go to Blackhawk GM Stan Bowman and Coach Q and their staffs for their brilliant insights and actions, directions and decisions and belief in their players. Simply amazing.

  7. Tell me if I am wrong. I think I heard his name mentioned once & did not see any type of play he was involved in. As before, ” INVISIBLE & NO IMPACT ” on the game at all !!!!!!! Hope he is on 90 going North West of Chicago.

  8. Wall I agree. I advocated Flash on the 1st line moving Hoss down to 3d a few weeks ago. Using either 14 or 12 in that spot, both 16 and 19 would benefit from that little extra mobility on RW. Hoss, for his part, makes the 3d line more dangerous and would force opponents to defend against 3 scoring lines.

    I love Desjardins game. He brings what God gave him every night.

  9. BTW, using 29 last night was the right thing to do. He should play Saturday as well. I would like to see 19, 7 and 4 get the night off. Would not mind seeing Crawford for half the game just to get a little tune up.

  10. The Hawks played as close to a strong 60 minute 2 way game as we have seen in some time. Elliot gets the goalie win for his team. The game last night had a real playoff feel. Exciting end to end play from both teams. I thought The Hawks had the better quality chances, but Elliot stood tall. Panarin missed some 1 timers and also was reluctant to shoot on a few plays. Teuvo looked really good as 2 line center imo at both ends of the ice.

    I think ER nailed it down really well. The fact that the Hawks played strong defense all over the ice was what I wanted to see and last night we got it. All this done with 4 quality starters out shows how deep this team really is. Wall, I agree about matchups. Both the Blues and Stars are good teams. Blues better defensively with Stars having more speed and scoring punch. I would prefer St Louis of the two, but either way a healthy Hawks team can prosper. First rounds are always the real nail biters for me. If its the Blues we saw the preview last night.

    Pity the guys didn’t grab 2 pts last night for the effort.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  11. Hockey is a game of inches. Hawks shooting accuracy was awful last night. IMO, although Elliot played very well, the Hawks simply missed the net too many times. Panik’s missed shot resulted in StL goal in the 3d. Had that shot been on target the game may have turned out differently.

    I know this happens all the time, but last night Hawks shooting was really bad.

  12. Well atleast they got a point… Still ahead of LA/ANA. Win 1 more and lock up a home ice advantage in WCF and anyother other than Wsh and Pit in SCF.

    as long as we come out of round 1 healthy, the sky is the limit…

  13. Well said Mike. The chances were there. Remember the Bolts in SCF last year? Those guys shot wide of so many gaping net chances throughout the series, especially the usually dead eye Stamkos.

    It can happen, and it is a game of inches with winner and loser decided by razor thin margins in many games.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  14. still think

    12/AA/81 — would make for very interesting line- can be a checking line…
    lot’s of I.Q./experience to take advantage of weaker D pairings… and all players are Euro/guys… so some real possible chemistry… all are quick- so can “jump” on miscues…

    Lastly, this line would be much better 3rd line (on paper- versus anything TT centers on 3rd)

    TT – makes the 2nd line a little quicker/faster with Odd- man chances- imo

    Phil- I really don’t like the Dallas matchup… too much speed… and they really exploit the Hawks weaker/slower/less experienced D corp (weaker than last year- minus Oduya/and top 4 playing majority of games)

  15. The media’s (print, internet, TV, radio) obsession w/ the recall (again) of Bickell is amazing. Zero goals in 24 games now. A non-factor. Can’t keep up w/ NHL pace. Not even close. Makes other players (Desjardins for example) a non-factor as well when placed w/ him.

    It’s nice that he got his hair did, and he takes care of dogs. He seems like a very nice person. He doesn’t belong anywhere near the ice (even warm-ups) come next week.

  16. Mike, yours:…. “Panik‚Äôs missed shot resulted in StL goal in the 3d. Had that shot been on target the game may have turned out differently.”

    I was thinking the same thing last night. I wish he would have just dumped the puck in the near corner given the lead and time left (easy for me to say from my family room). He’s trying to score and put the game out of reach – no complaint from me.

    Can’t wait for next week – looking forwarding to another 2 months of late night hockey.

  17. That game was pretty much as expected, low-scoring, play-off style, though with slightly less energy. Definitely felt we were the stronger team and am not too worried about the blues in the first round, especially considering we were without so many important player.

    As far as scoring chances go, I can’t say we dominated. We had a lot of puck luck…at least 3 or 4 times last night where I thought they had scored, and it appeared to me to be the luck of darling and not the skill of darling that kept all of those out.

    The way in which crawford has improved the most this year is his ability to hold on to the puck and not give rebounds. Darling was handing them out throughout the game and if it wasn’t for an alert hawks D in front of the net, the score may have been very different. I believe that’s the biggest thing in ensuring a long playoff run is getting crow back and giving less rebounds/opportunities.

    Great to see the wings crumble last night. I’ve been more into that eastern conference wild card race than anything else this past week. Hoping for the first wings non-playoff appearance in my life time. (well, since i was 3)

  18. I disagree with many about this game having a playoff feel to it. I believe both teams were going through the motions and playing not to incur any more injuries. This game lacked any real intensity and it was played leisurely more like a meaningless exhibition.

    I honestly believe the Hawks were resigned to starting the playoffs on the road before this game even started and actually prefer doing so. Jamal Mayer said it best, “The road team in the playoffs has less pressure because they aren’t at home with all the distractions. They only have to win one game before going home.” For that reason, I believe, the Hawks did not play with any urgency. That was clearly evident after the Blues tied it in the third. There certainly was no urgency in getting Darling off the ice and rushing the puck up ice.

    You guys can analyze all you want, but the bottom line is this championship team knew there was little risk of not making the playoffs a month ago and has been preserving its energy ever since for that real season. They saw the Preds surging and turned it on a little to assure finishing in 3rd but they really aren’t exerting themselves. They will flip the switch once again when the playoffs start and we will see real intensity when they do.

    We have just as good a chance to bring home another cup as any team in the field. The wild card the Hawks have other teams do not the core’s heart and will of champions.

    Go Hawks!

  19. I found it interesting to watch how the Blues are playing these days when Reaves and Backes, Ott(Jackman) are not in the mix. The douchebaggery that has been such a large part of this teams character seemingly forever is just not there. They play a hard disciplined game and have stopped running around trying to drill people all over the ice. That it has taken the organization this long to figure out that rock em sock hockey doesn’t win championships is amazing, but they are finally leaning in the right direction. If they jettison Backes and Reaves it would be the end of an era and perhaps real trouble for the Hawks moving forward.

    Meanwhile I always root for the Blues to lose. It’s kind of like how I feel about the Green Bay Packers as a life long Bears fan.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  20. Panarin Schedule B Bonus update:

    Well… the plus from last night’s game is that Tarasenko picked up two points on Panarin in the race for top 10 forward in points. But it probably doesn’t matter.

    Panarin is currently in 9th, one point ahead of both Kopitar and Tarasenko. Both need to pass him, and both have one game remaining. I don’t know what happens if Panarin is tied for 10th in the league. So to save $1.725M in cap space next year, I think that both Kopitar and Tarasenko need to a) play, and b) score two points each, while c) Panarin gets nothing. Extremely unlikely.

    So let’s enjoy the playoffs without thinking about it, but this summer it will cost something. Even if it’s Bickell, we’ll need to cough up a prospect or two to get it done. Panarin has been worth it, but man, that bonus is going to hurt.

  21. @tab, not jumping ship. They haven’t beat a Western Conf playoff opponent since Feb 6. It’s April. The players you listed have been playing through a majority of this slump, where this team has lacked killer instinct. They aren’t finishing teams off. Last night, and the Bruins game on Sunday are good recent examples. Pointing out a problem doesn’t mean I’m jumping ship.

  22. How likely will Panarin finish in top-10 forwards in points? I crunched the numbers.

    Panarin scores .94 PPG, Tarasenko .92, and Kopitar .91. Assuming that all three play and produce a Poisson-distributed number of points in the final game…

    Prob. Panarin scores 0 = exp(-.94) = 39.1%.
    Prob Tarasenko scores 2 or more = 1 – exp(-.92) – .92*exp(-.92) = 23.5%
    Prob Kopitar scores 2 or more = 1 – exp(-.91) – .91*exp(-.91) = 23.1%

    .391*.235*.231 = (drumroll)

    2.1% chance that Panarin falls out of top 10. Assuming all 3 play.

    Of course, if either Tarasenko or Kopitar doesn’t play, that number falls to 0.

    Ouch. Good for Bread man, but ouch.

  23. Mox do you really think that the intensity the Hawks are playing the last few months are the same as they will be playing in round 1? I’m not guaranteeing a round 1 victory but they will be playing with a much intensity once the playoffs start

    My old baseball coach used to have all these sneak trick plays that he had ready to use during playoffs that he would never use during the regular season and I’m sure Q has lots in store for the Blues and isn’t going to show all his cards in games that don’t really matter. I agree with you Booman. Go Hawks!!!

  24. What a bunch of crap spewed by a few posters.

    (1) Moving Hossa off the first line is ridiculous. His chemistry with Toews is incredible and he’s a proven playoff performer.

    (2) Moving Anisimov to the third line is asinine. Let’s kill the chemistry that one of if not the best line in hockey has created!

    (3) Constant bitching about the Hawks performance going into the playoffs despite the fact they’ve proven they coast in and then turn on the jets. Some people will never learn. You would think they have no chance listening to some idiots on here. NO-ONE WANTS TO PLAYS THE HAWKS IN THE PLAYOFFS, NO-ONE!!!!

  25. Yes, Panik shot the puck over the net that started the goal scoring sequence that tied the game, and yes, in retrospect, it would have been better to do something different, but … (1) that shouldn’t take away from the very good game Panik had, and (2) the 5 Hawks on the ice when Tarasenko scored on the rebound were all watching the puck and none of them were paying attention to the back side which allowed Tarasenko an uncontested shot into an open net. For as well as the team played defense, that particular game changing play was not handled well. There was no doubt the Blues were in the process of pulling Elliot and a 6th attacker would be jumping off the bench and coming in on that side of the ice and not one Hawk player was looking for it. That was the broken play – not Panik’s missed shot.

  26. 6 Cups is right that the Hawks, and Kings, are the 2 teams in the West that know what it takes to get it done in May & June.

    That being said, health is the great equalizer. Nobody wants to play the Hawks, but they’ll certainly take their chances against the roster that was on the ice last night. Chicago needs Hossa, Anisimov, Keith, Shaw and Crawford on the ice if they want to win another Cup. Period. Without those 5 they’re a different roster. Shaw remains a question mark because of his upper-body injury, but give me the other 4 and this team is certainly deep enough to do some damage.

  27. ER/Wall/Phil/Tim/Bman, that’s what I think. Didnt feel as good as we deserved (1-0 regulation)(you have to think WAS is going to forfeit and play ahl roster in that and they get 2 or 1 point anyways for higher seed) but have to realize what matters the most. We outplayed them, played good playoff speed and team game. We want to be 22 over .500 (really 23) to be as high a seed as we can. Not as playoff intense but playoff speed. Same thing on didn’t do after tie because of 1 or 2 seed thing.

    When we play we play.

    Lion in the Savanna.

  28. ER- I agree with your post. I wasn’t intending to be critical of Panik’s shot I was just hoping for a more conservative approach that late in the game. The shot reminded me of a Stahlberg shot against the Red Wings a few years ago that resulted in a similar play against us. I am glad Panik has been given a chance of late.

  29. This should be the roster for tomorrow night.

    Bickell Kruger Panik
    Weise Dejardins Fleischmann
    Mashinter Rasnussen McNeil
    Baum Hinostrova Motte

    Rosival Van Riemsdyk
    Ehrhoff Svedberg
    Gustafsson Pokka

    Crawford (for no more than half a game)

    Hell, let Rosi wear the “C” with Kruger and Desi with the “A”

  30. Right, not critical of Panik. Just saying the Hawks shots were off all night. Panik played a very good game.

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