Fantasy Football 2014:

Blues bump off Blackhawks in shootout

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The St. Louis Blues have made it clear they will not make it easy for the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks this season.

Last week, the Blues scored with 21 seconds remaining to hand Chicago its first regulation loss of the season.

On Thursday night, the Blues' lone goal in the shootout by T.J. Oshie against Chicago goalie Corey Crawford propelled them to another win over their Midwest rivals, this time a 3-2 triumph at the United Center.

"(These are) two teams that seem to bring out the best in each other, and another hard-fought game," said Blues captain David Backes, who scored his team's first goal in the opening period. "It could've went either way. You get to a shootout and you could almost flip a coin."

St. Louis (5-1-0) bounced back from its first defeat of the season Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks, while the loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Blackhawks (4-1-2).

"The intensity and mistakes were magnified, just like the playoffs," Backes added. "They're a team that's had lots of playoff games in the past few years, and we're a team that's striving to be pushing into the conference finals and finals the way they have."

Oshie was the only player from either side to score in the shootout. Alexander Steen missed the Blues' only other attempt.

Missing in their shootout attempts for Chicago were Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp. Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak stopped shots by Toews and Sharp after Kane fired wide.

"We knew we were going to weather a storm after what happened in the last game, but I thought after the first 10 minutes we played a really good hockey game, especially in the third period and overtime," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I thought we really played strong. We played with a sense of composure and discipline. I was really happy with our effort."

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville had the opposite view regarding his team's performance.

"Awful, didn't like our game at all tonight," Quenneville said. "We stopped getting it behind them or getting it at the net. We slowed ourselves down. Didn't like our pace. Didn't like the way we turned pucks over. I didn't like we how didn't get any pucks to the net."

Even so, the Blackhawks stayed close to produce the fifth consecutive meeting between the teams that was settled by one goal. However, the result snapped a streak in which the first team to score went on to win each of the previous nine meetings. Chicago scored first Thursday but could not hold on.

"I don't think we're scoring a lot of goals right now," said Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook after the Blackhawks' sixth consecutive game decided by one goal. "We're having a tough time finding the back of the net, but with that being said, we've got to muscle these games out. Win them 2-0, 2-1, 1-0. That's the mindset we have to have when we're not scoring goals."

Blackhawks rookie Brandon Pirri opened the scoring with his first career NHL goal, a nice wrist shot past Halak at 7:42 of the first period.

The Blues bounced back less than three minutes later. Backes, standing in front of Crawford, tipped in a power-play slap shot from just inside the blue line by Jay Bouwmeester at 10:14.

It was Backes' fifth goal of the season.

Neither team scored for the next 25 minutes until Chicago's Marian Hossa, on a two-on-one breakaway, lifted the puck past Halak to make it 2-1 at 17:22 of the second period. Hossa collected his third goal of the season.

The Blues countered to tie the game again with 1:47 left in the middle period. It was a similar score to St. Louis' first, as Steen tallied his fifth goal of the season on a tip-in in from Bouwmeester right in front of Crawford.

Penalties flew fast and furious at 6:14 of the third period when a mini-brawl erupted between several members of both teams.

St. Louis defenseman Roman Polak was penalized two minutes for boarding and five minutes for fighting, and teammate Barret Jackman was penalized two minutes for roughing.

On the same play, Chicago forward Brandon Bollig was penalized two minutes for instigating and five minutes for fighting, and he was assessed a 10-minute misconduct.

Chicago center Andrew Shaw then went to the penalty box at 7:33, whistled for roughing, putting both sides back to even strength. Neither team was able to take advantage and find the net.

NOTES: Attendance was 21,169. ... The Blackhawks and Blues have yet to lose any man-games to injuries this season. ... Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win at Carolina was the Blackhawks' 2,500th career victory in the NHL. ... After Saturday's home game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago plays four of its following six games on the road. ... The Blues, who started the season with five consecutive home games, began a stretch Thursday of six of the next eight games on the road. ... St. Louis RW Vladimir Tarasenko had his four-game scoring streak end. ... Jackman played in his 650th career NHL game, while Backes became the 14th player in team history to reach the 500-game plateau. ... Bouwmeester played in his 641st consecutive game, extending the longest active iron-man streak in North American pro sports. Bouwmeester last missed a game in March 2004. Vancouver Canucks C Henrik Sedin is a close second at 637 games.

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