Preview: Blackhawks At Blues
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[April 25, 2014]
Patrick Kane is no stranger to
scoring dramatic overtime goals in the postseason — see Game 6 of the
2010 Stanley Cup final if you need to refresh your memory. While the
stakes weren't as high, the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner netted
his second goal of the contest 11:17 into the extra session as Chicago
skated to a 4-3 victory on Wednesday to even its Western Conference
first-round series with the St. Louis Blues at two games apiece. The
Central Division rivals will reconvene in St. Louis for Game 5 on
The reigning Stanley Cup champions held serve by winning both
contests in Chicago after the Blues opened the series with a pair of
home victories. "We're not in a bad spot. It's tied and we still
have home ice," St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said. "We still
have a good opportunity here." Whether the Blues have David Backes
(upper body) for Friday's tilt is a mystery, although the captain
did not participate in Thursday's optional skate — prompting coach
Ken Hitchcock to tell reporters to "read into it what you will."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, CSN (Chicago), FSN Midwest (St.
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS: For the third time in four years, Jonathan Toews was named a finalist for the Selke Trophy — which is awarded
to the top defensive forward. The captain, who is vying for a repeat
after winning the award for the first time in 2013, was joined by
Boston's Patrice Bergeron and Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar as
finalists. Toews collected a goal and an assist in Game 4, has a
team-high five points and has won 64.2 percent of his faceoffs
(68-for-106) in the series.
ABOUT THE BLUES: Vladimir Tarasenko has put his injuries woes behind
him with a stellar effort versus Chicago. After missing the last 15
games of the regular season with a hand injury, the 22-year-old
Russian tallied twice on Wednesday to double his team-leading goal
total for the series. "Exceptional. He's been a great player every
game," Hitchcock said. "Young, emerging player. Hopefully, he stays
with it and helps us a lot."
[to top of second column]
Both teams scored with the man advantage on Wednesday to show
signs of getting their sputtering power plays untracked. Chicago is
2-for-16 in the series while St. Louis is 2-for-21.
Blues D Alex Pietrangelo logged a game-high 28:55 of ice time on
Wednesday and leads the league with 127:16 in the postseason.
Blackhawks D Brent Seabrook, who administered the illegal hit to
Backes in Game 2, will serve the final contest of his three-game
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Blackhawks 2
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