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Blues 4, Blackhawks 3 (SO)

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CHICAGO -- Kevin Shattenkirk scored on St. Louis' sixth shot in the shootout to give the Blues a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night at the United Center.

After he took his shot, Shattenkirk paused momentarily, as if he wasn't sure the puck had gotten past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford and went in. The goal lamp was also slow in being lit, but when it finally turned red, the Blues had emerged victorious.

St. Louis improves to 19-14-2, and Chicago is now 27-5-4.

Besides Shattenkirk, other Blues who scored in the shootout were Chris Stewart, Andy McDonald and Alexander Steen. Stopped were David Perron and Vladimir Tarasenko.

Scoring for Chicago were Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa. Stopped were Andrew Shaw, Brandon Saad and Michal Handzus.

Chicago went into the third period with a 2-1 lead, but St. Louis' Adam Cracknell didn't need long to score at 3:30, tying the score at 2-2. Cracknell had the big gun for the Blues, scoring his first two goals of the season, giving St. Louis an early lead and then battling

back to tie the score with his second goal.

Less than four minutes later, Blues forward David Backes broke the 2-2 tie with his fourth goal of the season.

Chicago's Viktor Stalberg, who got into a fight near the end of the second period with St. Louis' Roman Polak, exacted some revenge by scoring the tying goal at 15:29. It was Stalberg's seventh goal of the season and once again tied the score, this time 3-3.

St. Louis played a swarming, attacking style of defense that seemed to get stronger as the third period wore on, not only confusing the Blackhawks but visibly tiring them as well.

It was that defensive style of play that kept the Blues in the game, got them through the overtime and then ended up winning in the shootout.

With 37.1 seconds remaining in the second period, play was stopped for several minutes after a fight broke out between Polak and Stalberg. Tempers flared between both teams before the four officials conferred and meted out their judgment.

Polak was penalized two minutes for instigation, five minutes for fighting and also received a 10 minute misconduct call. His penalty was served by Jaden Schwartz.

Stalberg, meanwhile, received a five minute penalty for fighting.

After the Blackhawks outshot the Blues 8-7 in the first period, Chicago had the upper hand in the second, outshooting St. Louis 15-5.

As is typical with most Blues-Blackhawks matchups, defense was the name of the game during much of the first period. But Cracknell broke the scoreless tie at 16:03 with his first goal of the season, a shot that sailed high and over the left shoulder of Crawford.

That score came just a couple of minutes after Crawford was taken down hard in front of the Blackhawks' net, losing his right glove and stick in the process. While referees stopped play, they did not whistle any penalties against St. Louis.

Chicago tied the score 1-1 at 3:18 of the second period when Brent Seabrook's shot to the right of Blues goalie Brian Elliott caromed off the stick of Toews and into the net. It was Toews' 18th goal of the season, with the assists to Seabrook and Kane.

But the Hawks were far from done. Just under 2 1/2 minutes later, Saad scored his eighth goal of the season on a nice feed pass from Toews, putting Chicago ahead for the first time at 2-1.

During pregame introductions, Blackhawks fans loudly welcomed back Hossa, who returned to the lineup after missing the past six games with a shoulder injury.

Now all the Hawks need is for Patrick Sharp to get back on the ice, which could occur Saturday at Nashville, according to several media reports.

St. Louis came into the game having lost three of its last four games, and Chicago was riding a two-game winning streak. However, the Blackhawks have struggled of late at home, losing three of their previous four game at the United Center before Thursday night.

The Hawks came into the game with a 2-0-0 regular-season record thus far against the Blues, who they face two more times, both in St. Louis on April 14 and the regular-season finale on April 27.

NOTES: The Blackhawks came into the game having regained the NHL points lead from the Pittsburgh Penguins with 57 (Pittsburgh had 56 and Anaheim 55). ... Thursday marked the first of a streak of five of six games on the road for the Blues. However, after that, they play seven of their last eight at home before the playoffs. ... Attendance was 22,081, the Blackhawks' second-largest home crowd this season.
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