After some non-controversy in Game Two, the third game between familiar rivals at the United center on Sunday afternoon was review-free.
Unlike the first two games, Game Three had lots of rubber getting on net. But the theme of the series remained the same: great goaltending for both teams.
The opening 20 minutes saw eight called penalties lead to a power play goal from a defenseman for each side. Brent Seabrook opened the scoring with his franchise-record 20th career postseason goal, and Colton Parayko tied the game almost exactly ten minutes later.
Rookie defenseman Viktor Svedberg went to the box with Kyle Brodziak only 1:49 into the game and Brodziakpicked up an extra minor, leading to the Seabrook goal. Svedberg went back to the box alone nine minutes later, a power play that Parayko converted. Svedberg was, predictably, stapled to the bench for most of the rest of the afternoon.
Shots were officially 10-9 in favor of the Hawks in the first period, and the parade to the penalty box kept Vladimir Tarasenko off the ice for much of the first period.
Chicago dominated a second period that was almost completely even strength.
Skating 4-on-4 to open the second, Artemi Panarin lost his first career NHL faceoff but beat Parayko to the puck in the corner. He set up Artem Anisimov on the doorstep, and a whiff worked out perfectly as the knuckling puck slipped past Brian Elliott.
The Blues took only one penalty in the second and successfully killed the penalty, but they were outplayed throughout the period. The Hawks out-shot the Blues 24-13 in the second but were only able to generate the one goal.
Which would come back to bite them in the rear end only 5:15 into the third when Patrik Berglund rifled a shot past Corey Crawford from the Stanley Cup Playoffs just inside the blue line. It appeared the puck was redirected off Michal Rozsival on it’s way to the net, but a tough luck goal for Crawford to give up after an exceptional performance for 45 minutes.
Indeed, Crawford kept the Blues at one goal in spite of terrific chances right on the doorstep in the second period. Unfortunately, Elliott was just as good (if not better) on the other end of the ice.
Poor puck management and not converting on some great chances continued to haunt the Hawks, and then St. Louis got their break. a double-minor on Patrick Kane handed the Blues four minutes of power play time and, unlike the Hawks in the first period, they took advantage.
Jaden Schwartz converted a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play near the end of the first two minutes and beat Crawford for the game-winner. Tarasenko set up David Backes to Crawford’s right, and a nice touch pass immediately to the doorstep set up Schwartzin prime position.
The Hawks had a few chances down the stretch but couldn’t beat Elliott, who has been the best player in the series. With the 3-2 win, the Blues take home ice advantage back.
Game Four is at 8:30 CT at the United Center on Tuesday night.