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Blackhawks Double Up Blues

 Chicago,  IL  (SportsNetwork.com) - Patrick  Sharp scored the go-ahead goal in 
the  final minute of  the second period and Marcus Kruger found the net in the 
first minute of the third to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-2 victory over 
the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. 

Jeremy  Morin also scored and added an assist for the Blackhawks, who have won 
three  straight after  a  three-game  skid and  pulled  within  two points  of 
Colorado  for  second place  in the  Central Division.  The Avalanche earned a 
point with a shootout loss to Pittsburgh later Sunday. 

"Very  workmanlike three games  in a row and we got rewarded each night," said 
Chicago  head coach  Joel Quenneville. "It was  a good week for us and I liked 
our response to a real tough week prior." 

Corey  Crawford stopped  21 shots in the  victory and Ben Smith scored into an 
empty net in the final seconds. 

Brian  Elliott made 31 saves for St. Louis, which was coming off a 4-0 loss to 
Colorado  on  Saturday but  still sits  on top in  the Western Conference. The 
Blues,  however, remained  two points  behind idle  Boston in  the Presidents' 
Trophy race. 

Jaden  Schwartz and  Vladimir Sobotka scored for the Blues, who will close the 
season with four games in six days, starting Tuesday against Washington. 

"We're a  little bit tired,"  said Blues coach  Ken Hitchcock.  "We still have 
four more games to play.  We have a lot of hockey to play yet and have to find 
a way to re-energize ourselves and get back to work." 

The  game  appeared to  be headed  toward the third  period in  a 1-1 tie, but 
Andrew  Shaw slipped the puck to Morin for a 2-on-1 in the final minute. Morin 
sent  a pass to  Sharp in the left circle and he blistered a shot past Elliott 
for his 33rd goal with 26.2 seconds left to put Chicago in front. 

"Those  are  obviously momentum  swings that  can take a  game in the opposite 
direction,"  said Elliott  about  the  late second-period  goal.  "We had  the 
opportunity to come back, but weren't able to do it." 

The Blackhawks  added to  their lead  just 56 seconds  into the third. Joakim 
Nordstrom  fired a shot from the right circle that caromed off the right post, 
hit  the back  of Elliott and tapped the  left post. Kruger was on the spot in 
the crease to quickly swipe the puck into the net for his eighth goal. 

Sobotka  beat Crawford with  a shot from the left circle for his ninth goal of 
the  season  with 2:02 remaining  to pull St. Louis  within one, but the Blues 
were unable to net the equalizer with an extra attacker. 

Alex  Pietrangelo's  stick broke  as he  was attempting a  shot from the right 
point  in the closing  seconds and the flub led to an empty-net goal for Smith 
with 3.3 seconds left to seal it. 

Schwartz  gave the Blues  the early lead just 1:57 into the contest on a power 
play  when his  second shot from the  left circle made its way through traffic 
for his 24th goal. 

Morin  tied  it for  Chicago at  8:34 of the  second when  he flipped home the 
rebound of a Bryan Bickell shot from the left circle. 

                                   Game Notes 

Smith notched his 13th goal of the season and has now scored in three straight 
games  ...  The Blues were  1-for-4 on  the power play  and killed off each of 
Chicago's four chances with the extra skater ... Chicago finished 2-1-2 in the 
season series.  

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