Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Jonathan Toews scored, Corey Crawford had 34
saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 2-0 Monday in Game 3
of the Western Conference quarterfinals.
After a pair of overtime losses in St. Louis, the Blackhawks got their first
win in the best-of-seven series with Game 4 on tap for Wednesday in Chicago.
"That was a big win for us but we have to keep the same mentality," said
Crawford. "Just because we came here and got the first one at home doesn't
mean it's going to be easy. We have to be prepared to work even harder and
keep the same good feelings we had in this game."
Crawford had 15 saves in the first period, eight in the second and made his
11th save of the third period on an Alex Pietrangelo shot that was re-directed
in the final minute.
It was Crawford's third career postseason shutout. Toews scored 4:10 into the
game and Marcus Kruger added an empty-netter to seal the win.
Both teams were missing top players.
Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook began serving his three-game suspension
for the check that knocked David Backes out of Game 2 on Saturday and led to
Vladimir Tarasenko's tying goal for the Blues with 6.4 seconds remaining.
Backes was also out after Seabrook drove his shoulder into the Blues captain's
face, sending him head-first into the corner boards.
After Tarasenko tied Game 2, Barret Jackman scored 5:50 into overtime to give
St. Louis a 2-0 series lead.
The Blues won Game 1 in a similar hear-stopping fashion after Jaden Schwartz
scored with 1:45 left in regulation and Alexander Steen won it 26 seconds into
the third overtime, the longest game in franchise history.
Both games ended 4-3. Now, the Blues are hoping to avoid a repeat of last
year, when they posted a pair of 2-1 wins over Los Angeles in the first round,
then lost the next four games.
"We knew this was going to be a long series," said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock.
"We really played hard and played well and did a lot of things we needed to do
to win the game, but you have to give their goalie credit. He was good."
Ryan Miller stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced in this one, only letting
Toews' drive from the top of the right circle get past him.
Toews took the shot with Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in front of him,
and it squeaked through Miller's legs.
"After that I feel like I competed an battled," said Miller. "There are going
to be moments where things aren't going to go your way, you just have to keep
Later, with St. Louis making a late push, Crawford was able to get his glove
on Pietrangelo's re-directed shot from the right side, knocking it down.
"He saw everything," said Toews.
It was the Blues' last good chance before Kruger sealed the Chicago win with
his empty-net goal with 20 seconds left.
Duncan Keith, Sheldon Brookbank, Brandon Saad and Michal Handzus each had an
assist for Chicago. It was Saad's second assist of the series ... Chicago was
0-for-4 on the power play and St. Louis went 0-for-3.