Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Patrick Kane's goal with 8:43 left in
overtime sent the Chicago Blackhawks all square in their Western Conference
quarterfinal series with the St. Louis Blues, giving the defending Stanley Cup
champs a thrilling and critical 4-3 Game 4 victory at United Center.
Kane also scored earlier in the contest and contributed an assist as well to
help the Blackhawks record their second straight win after a pair of
heartbreaking overtime defeats in St. Louis, where the series will now shift
for Friday's pivotal Game 5.
"We kind of have the momentum now," Kane said. "We know it's going to be a
tough game in Game 5 in their building. They're going to be fired up and
that's always a tough place to play, pre-season, regular season or playoffs.
So, we'll expect them to get better and we'll get better too."
Bryan Bickell came up with a big goal as well for Chicago, as his marker with
3:52 remaining in regulation tied the score at 3-3 and ended a sequence of
three straight scores from the Blues that erased a 2-0 deficit.
Andrew Shaw also lit the lamp in the win, while Corey Crawford backed up his
34-save shutout in Monday's Game 3 by turning aside 30 shots on Wednesday.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice for the Blues in a losing cause, with Maxim
Lapierre accounting for the other St. Louis goal and Ryan Miller finishing
with 30 saves.
"Oh, they've got the momentum now," St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We've
got to take it back. We've got two of three at home, but we've got to take the
momentum back. These have been two really hard-fought games here. This is a
momentum-builder for them, and we've got to find a way to regroup and take it
back from them. That's a big challenge for us."
Miller was able to thwart a couple of good scoring chances during the extra
period, in which Chicago produced a 6-2 shot advantage, but couldn't prevent a
hard-charging Kane from finishing off a strong Blackhawks rush that resulted
in the game-winner.
The standout wing skated into the St. Louis zone and faked a pass before
rocketing a wrister over Miller's right shoulder that evened this tightly
St. Louis had taken its first lead of the night courtesy of Tarasenko's fourth
goal of the series and second of the game, which came with 7:33 left in the
third period. Taking in an outlet pass from Alex Pietrangelo that began a 2-
on-1, the talented youngster beat Crawford glove-side after racing down the
right wing for a 3-2 Blues advantage.
Bickell, a key contributor during last year's Stanley Cup run, forced another
overtime less than four minutes later with a successful redirect of
Michal Rozsival's long drive from near the blueline.
After neither side found the back of the net during an opening period that
featured a 13-save effort from Miller, the teams combined for four goals
during a more wide-open second stanza.
The Blackhawks capitalized on a tripping penalty to Lapierre 8:29 into the
frame to strike first. Kane fed the puck to Jonathan Toews for a close one-
timer that was blocked in front of Miller, but Shaw was perfectly positioned
to backhand in the carom just 11 seconds after the infraction occurred.
Kane made it a 2-0 lead with just under four minutes remaining in the period,
placing a cross-ice pass from Johnny Oduya over Miller's glove to finish off a
St. Louis quickly got right back in it, however, with a pair of goals over the
final 69 seconds of the session.
The Blues needed a mere seven seconds to convert Kane's penalty for shooting
the puck over the glass, with Tarasenko putting his team on the board with a
wicked left-circle drive while T.J. Oshie screened Crawford.
St. Louis kept the pressure on with time winding down in the second, and were
rewarded when Steve Ott's diving play to keep the puck in the Chicago zone
turned into Lapierre's blast that clanked off the right crossbar and in just
3.1 seconds prior to the intermission.
The Blues played a second straight game without captain David Backes, still
recovering from an upper-body injury caused by a hard check from Blackhawks
defenseman Brent Seabrook in Saturday's Game 2. Seabrook received a three-game
suspension for the hit which will end following Game 5 ... Toews recorded two
assists ... The Blues lost for only the second time in eight all-time playoff
meetings in Chicago that went to OT ... The team that has scored first has won
all four matchups of the series.