Friday, April 25, 2014
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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 Friday.

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. Louis)

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."

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OVERTIME

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Blackhawks D Brent Seabrook, who administered the illegal hit to Backes in Game 2, will serve the final contest of his three-game suspension.

PREDICTION: Blues 3, Blackhawks 2

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