Blackhawks Win in Overtime, Tie Series at Two

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks win a rollercoaster ride to tie the series at two games apiece.

A whirlwind of emotions tonight. The ebb and flow of the game nearly brought my heart to the brink. Best of three.

The first started with solid shifts from all four lines. They brought their active sticks and found the lanes through the neutral zones. Lots of good in the first ten minutes. The forwards did a nice job of staying low in their own end to facilitate the break out. St. Louis wasn't a mess, so much as they were being overpowered. A frustrated Steve Ott threw a right cross at Michal Handzus causing many in Chicago to cry "elder abuse!" The ensuing power play was...ah...not great. A horrible penalty by Oduya late was negated by a good kill. You almost felt nervous with the Blackhawks not being able to pot one after the first 20, but the dominant period was an encouraging sign.

The second period started with some bumps as the Blackhawks got tagged with two penalties in the first seven minutes. A Michal Rozsival hook was extinguished with relative ease. The requisite dumb ass Andrew Shaw penalty showcased more of the Blackhawks special teams unit. Following a Lapierre tripping minor, Shaw would totally redeem himself with a POWER PLAY goal. A broken play to be honest. Patrick Kane found room below the dot, centered to Toews who chipped one towards the net. Shaw would bat the wobbly Toews shot out of mid air and passed Miller. The lead would extend to two on a beautiful cross ice feed from Oduya to Kane.

One minute four seconds. That's how long it took the Blues tie the game up. The FIFTH Blues power play finally lit the lamp with a Tarasenko snipe. Gotta give it up to Vlad here, his help on the faceoff set up the play and he fired it home. Maxim Lapierre would knot the game at two with four seconds left in the stanza. Gut wrenching minute for Hawks fans. The parade to the box was bound to bite them in the ass, and then when the Blackhawks phoned it in for the remainder of the period and St. Louis jumped on the opportunity.

The third started with a thud as the Blackhawks looked deflated and tentative. Trapped in their own zone for long periods of time, with defensemen flinging it up the boards praying to clear the zone. You could feel it coming when Taransenko scored in the 12th minute. Crawford has to have that one. Keith had the pass covered, and Crawford needed to square himself up better. But the Blackhawks would find themselves again. Stringing together a few good shifts ended with a Rozsival shot tipped in by Bryan Bickell. Oveerrrrrtttiimmmmmeeeeee.

The Blackhawks controlled the play for much of the overtime period. Ben Smith was especially effective. But the game would end on a snipe from Patrick Kane. Series tied. Best of three. Let's go.

Kane, Line Combos, The Future, EMOTIONS

- From the get-go you could tell that Kane had some swagger back. He was flying through the neutral zone, possessing the puck, and doing the damn thing. Hope this means the Blues woke the dragon and Kaner takes over this series.

- The parade to the box has to stop. Playing with fire. Despite what Hitchcock says, I expect the Blues to go back to setting the tone or whatever they call it in game 5. It's going to be a difficult task to stay level headed and work through the bullshit.

- I mentioned it earlier, but one of the keys to the game was the Blackhawks forwards willingness to stay in their defensive end and take a pass to exit the zone. Less stretch passing, less Dmen flinging it off the boards, more short passes and skating through the neutral zone. Big difference from the first three games.

- Tarasenko was tagged by many as the X-Factor in this series. One of the few Blues forwards that can create his own shot. He sure is playing like it, and he is going to be a terror in STL on Friday. Gotta find some way to contain him.

- Lots of line changes in the final twenty and change. Breaking up Toews and Kane was an odd move as they were rekindling some of that magic we all love.

- I don't expect any lineup changes for Friday so it's unnecessary to point out that Bollig played under 7 minutes, Versteeg was bad and seemingly dragging Brandon Saad down.

- 20 efficient minutes from Brookbank. Like that a lot. He is filling in nicely in Seabrook's absence. David Schuster summed it up nicely on The Score when he said Brookbank was like a ref out there, you didn't notice him and that's perfectly fine.

- Advanced stats

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Keith, Duncan

D

22:08

48.4

-15.1

46.7

-16.5

66.7

Hjalmarsson, Niklas

D

24:33

57.7

-3.2

58.3

-0.3

58.3

Leddy, Nick

D

15:37

83.9

33.3

84.6

34.6

70.0

Sharp, Patrick

R

19:09

62.2

3.9

62.9

6.5

81.8

Kruger, Marcus

C

12:13

72.2

15.1

68.8

12.1

0.0

Brookbank, Sheldon

D

17:58

44.8

-19.5

42.9

-21.2

50.0

Toews, Jonathan

C

21:33

55.8

-5.8

52.6

-9.1

69.2

Saad, Brandon

L

17:51

56.7

-3.8

60.7

3.0

45.5

Versteeg, Kris

R

11:05

52.9

-7.7

60.0

1.8

50.0

Handzus, Michal

C

08:13

60.0

0.6

60.0

1.8

60.0

Oduya, Johnny

D

23:06

48.1

-21.2

48.0

-19.9

53.8

Smith, Ben

R

12:59

74.1

19.0

70.8

16.0

66.7

Bickell, Bryan

L

18:07

54.8

-7.4

50.0

-13.2

80.0

Rozsival, Michal

D

18:55

75.7

23.8

75.0

23.6

76.9

Bollig, Brandon

L

06:24

72.7

14.6

66.7

8.9

0.0

Shaw, Andrew

C

17:24

51.5

-11.1

54.8

-5.2

62.5

Hossa, Marian

R

17:14

55.6

-5.7

51.6

-9.7

69.2

Kane, Patrick

R

20:22

64.9

7.9

63.9

8.2

80.0

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Jackman, Barret

D

18:53

31.4

-13.0

28.1

-19.2

33.3

Schwartz, Jaden

C

18:53

47.6

11.1

54.1

19.3

50.0

Roy, Derek

C

07:34

30.8

-11.0

36.4

-5.7

0.0

Sobotka, Vladimir

C

18:50

55.6

19.6

52.0

13.7

53.8

Bouwmeester, Jay

D

23:43

45.3

8.8

51.1

17.2

35.0

Steen, Alexander

L

20:17

54.3

19.7

51.5

14.5

46.7

Berglund, Patrik

C

17:10

50.0

15.7

56.1

23.8

50.0

Shattenkirk, Kevin

D

21:17

39.0

-2.3

36.8

-7.3

33.3

Pietrangelo, Alex

D

24:03

41.2

1.2

46.7

9.0

35.0

Ott, Steve

C

16:26

28.1

-17.1

29.0

-17.6

16.7

Porter, Chris

L

13:56

17.2

-31.0

15.4

-34.6

16.7

Leopold, Jordan

D

15:54

38.1

-3.0

35.0

-8.0

50.0

Lapierre, Maxim

C

16:21

21.4

-25.2

18.5

-30.8

18.2

Polak, Roman

D

17:49

45.2

6.3

43.3

2.5

50.0

Oshie, T.J.

C

21:24

50.0

13.8

47.1

8.2

46.7

Reaves, Ryan

R

05:58

14.3

-27.9

14.3

-29.1

0.0

Cracknell, Adam

R

12:09

25.0

-18.0

20.0

-25.1

16.7

Tarasenko, Vladimir

R

14:18

45.9

8.0

54.8

18.8

80.0

*all data collected from www.nhl.com and www.extraskater.com

Attach The Stone of Triumph To...

8474141_medium

"You shoulda kept your mouth shut"

I'm heading to St. Louis for the game on Friday. I expect another one goal game, and I think the ice has tilted in the Hawks favor. Fourteen more. Giddy up.

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