Jonathan Toews scored his 28th goal of the season, but Vladimir Tarasenko scored the tying goal and game-winner in overtime for the St. Louis Blues to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Thursday at the United Center.
By virtue of earning a point, the Blackhawks are locked into third place in the Central Division and will open the Stanley Cup playoffs on the road in the first round against Dallas or St. Louis, who are tied at 107 points. Dallas beat Colorado 4-2 to stay atop the division with St. Louis.
The Blues wrap up their season in St. Louis against President Trophy winner Washington, while Dallas faces Nashville. If the two teams finished tied, Dallas will win the Central because of regulation/overtime wins, and the Hawks will face St. Louis for the second time in three postseasons.
Chicago won the last postseason series in the 2014 quarterfinals. St. Louis won the first two games in overtime, but the Hawks rallied with four straight wins to advance.
The Hawks held a 1-0 lead until Tarasenko tied it 1-1 with 1:16 remaining in regulation. Then he scored his fifth goal of the season series in overtime at 3:37 for the win.
Toews' scored his goal after Tarasenko and Richard Panik were sent to the box for hooking and embellishment, respectively. The Chicago captain scored just 27 seconds into the four-on-four. Patrick Kane recorded an assist on the goal to increase his season point total to 103.
Chicago continued its strong special team play, killing off two penalties to improve to 21-for-21 and 19 straight kills since Marcus Kruger has returned to the lineup.
Up Next: The Blackhawks travel to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets in their season finale Saturday.