Preview: Blues At Blackhawks
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[April 21, 2014]
The Chicago Blackhawks face an
uphill climb if they plan to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. After
dropping the first two contests, Chicago looks to claw its way back into
its Western Conference first-round series when it hosts the St. Louis
Blues in Game 3 on Monday. Making the Blackhawks' bid to repeat all the
more challenging is the loss of defenseman Brent Seabrook, who was
suspended three games by the NHL for his hit to the head of St. Louis
captain David Backes on Saturday afternoon.
Seabrook was assessed a charging major and a game misconduct,
which led to Vladimir Tarasenko scoring during a 6-on-4 advantage
with seven seconds remaining in the third period to forge a tie.
Defenseman Barret Jackman capped the comeback by tallying 5:50 into
overtime as the Blues claimed a 4-3 victory. "We might have played
into their hands, but we've got to get back to our hockey,"
Chicago's Brandon Saad said.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDSI, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), CSN
ABOUT THE BLUES: Coach Ken Hitchcock wasn't too forthcoming with
information on Backes (upper body), saying on Sunday that "he's
upright and that's about it right now." Patrik Berglund, who has
missed the last three games with an upper-body injury, could return
to the lineup should Backes be unable to compete. "I told the boys
(Saturday) I can't take this anymore," Berglund said. "Hopefully, I
will heal fast and be able to help them out on the ice. It's easier
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS: After complimenting Corey Crawford for his
play in Game 1, coach Joel Quenneville agreed with his goaltender's
assessment that he needs to be better if Chicago is going to rally
in this series. "He said he needs to be better, and he needs to be
better," Quenneville told reporters on Sunday. Crawford made 48
saves in Thursday's 4-3 triple-overtime loss in Game 1 but yielded a
late third-period goal in both contests that ultimately led to the
[to top of second column]
An unidentified Blackhawks player was heard to say "Wakey wakey,
Backes" as the Blues captain struggled to his feet after the hit. "I
saw them talking to him," St. Louis RW Ryan Reaves said. "It makes
it a little more gutless."
With Seabrook sidelined, Chicago D Sheldon Brookbank is the
likely candidate to be inserted into the lineup. Brookbank averaged
12:53 of ice time in 48 games during the regular season.
Hitchcock described Blues C Vladimir Sobotka's health as "average
right now" after he was involved in a knee-on-knee collision with
Blackhawks LW Bryan Bickell.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 3, Blues 2
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