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St. Louis at Chicago

Blackhawks jump to big lead, hold off Blues to win fifth game in row

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks needed every one of the six goals they scored in the first two periods to beat the St. Louis Blues.

Duncan Keith, Ben Eager, Bryan Bickell and Kris Versteeg scored in a 3:08 span in the first period and the Blackhawks held on to beat the Blues 6-5 on Wednesday for their fifth straight victory.

Western Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1p-Chicago487730
2y-Anaheim486624
3y-Vancouver485921
4x-St. Louis486024
5x-Los Angeles485925
6x-San Jose485717
7x-Detroit485622
8x-Minnesota485522
Eliminated
9o-Columbus485519
10o-Phoenix485117
11o-Dallas484820
12o-Edmonton484517
13o-Calgary484219
14o-Nashville484114
15o-Colorado483914
Complete Playoff Race

Andrew Ladd and Jordan Hendry also scored to help Chicago reach a franchise-record 109 points and tie San Jose for first place in the Western Conference.

Versteeg added three assists to set a career high for points in a game and become the first Chicago player to have a four-point game since Dec. 28, 2008.

After the Blackhawks built a 6-1 lead midway through the second period, they nearly blew it against the Blues, who got goals from David Perron, Roman Polak, Brad Winchester, T.J. Oshie and Brad Boyes. Boyes completed the scoring on a penalty shot with 30.9 seconds left in the third.

"Throughout the first and second periods, we came out strong," Versteeg said. "Maybe there was a bit of fatigue, but that's definitely not the way we want to finish off."

"In the first 40 minutes, we were in good shape," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville added. "In the third period, we took our foot off the gas and almost gave it away."

St. Louis nearly came back despite playing its first game after being eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday night when Colorado beat Vancouver.

The Blues also absorbed an emotional hit when forward Keith Tkachuk announced his retirement before the game. The 38-year-old Tkachuk played his 1,200th game Monday night, but was scratched Wednesday night because of a lower-body injury. He will play his final home game Friday night.

"If anything, he gives us more to play for," St. Louis forward David Backes said. "He was a warrior for 19 years in this league.

"It was almost semi-disrespectful that the night he says he's going to retire that we put the sort of effort we did in the first half of the game."

Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa left the game after one shift in the second period because of an unknown injury. Hossa appeared to have sustained the injury after being hit and knocked to the ice by Winchester at 8:07 of the first. Hossa played several shifts after the incident.

After the game, Quenneville said the injury wasn't serious.

Chicago goalie Antti Niemi made 26 saves in his seventh straight start and 10th in the last 11 games.

St. Louis starter Chris Mason was replaced by Ty Conklin 7:43 into the first after allowing three goals on four shots. Conklin gave up three goals on 22 shots.

Perron opened the scoring 4:22 in with 20th goal, scoring on rebound when he was left open at the edge of the crease.

Then the Blackhawks scored four goals on six shots in just over three minutes.

"They skated and we watched," Backes said. "It was almost like figure skating at the Olympics. We were the spectators in the stands and they were skating all over the ice."

Keith tied it at 1 at 6:17 when he pinched into the left circle and completed a give-and-go with Versteeg during a 4-on-4.

Just under a minute later, Eager banged in a loose puck from the crease to make it 2-1. Bickell scored 30 seconds later and sent Mason to the bench when his screened 45-foot shot from the left boards sailed over Mason's glove into the top corner.

Versteeg's short-handed goal at 9:25 capped the flurry. He scored from the slot after moving 2-on-none with Patrick Sharp and taking Sharp's feed.

Ladd stretched it to 5-1 at 5:54 of the second on wrist shot from the left circle. Hendry made it 6-1 midway through the second, before Polak cut it to 6-2 with 4:08 left in the period. Winchester was credited with a tip-in at 3:43 of the third to make it 6-3, and Oshie trimmed it to 6-4 with 6:16 remaining.

Boyes closed it to 6-5 on his penalty shot, awarded after he was hacked by Chicago's Dustin Byfuglien on a breakaway.

Notes

  • Hossa has 24 goals and 26 assists in 50 games this season. He missed the Blackhawks' first 22 games following offseason shoulder surgery.
  • The Blackhawks recalled Bickell from Rockford of the AHL on Wednesday.
  • Chicago RW Tomas Kopecky sat out with an upper-body injury, as did D Kim Johnsson who missed his 13th game.
  • RW missed Troy Brouwer missed his second straight game due to personal reasons.
  • St. Louis D Barret Jackman and C Patrik Berglund sat out with upper-body injuries.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Duncan Keith scores the first of four goals in a 3:08 span in the first period. (US Presswire)
Duncan Keith scores the first of four goals in a 3:08 span in the first period. (US Presswire)
Scoreboard
St. Louis (39-32-9)1135
Chicago  (51-22-7) «4206
Three Stars
K. Versteeg
CHI


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 3
A. Ladd
CHI


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
D. Backes
STL


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:22David Perron (20), Backhand Shot. Assist: McDonald, Oshie
06:17Duncan Keith (14), Slap Shot. Assist: Versteeg, Byfuglien
07:13Ben Eager (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kane, Byfuglien
07:43Bryan Bickell (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ladd, Hendry
09:25Short - Kris Versteeg (19), Snap Shot. Assist: Sharp
2ND PERIOD
05:54Andrew Ladd (17), Wrist Shot. Assist: Versteeg, Keith
10:56Jordan Hendry (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Sopel, Versteeg
15:52Roman Polak (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Backes
3RD PERIOD
03:43Brad Winchester (3), Tip-In. Assist: Johnson, Backes
13:44T.J. Oshie (18), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kariya, McDonald
19:29Power Play - Brad Boyes (14), Penalty Shot, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:05Janssen, 2 min, Roughing
05:05Eager, 2 min, Roughing
08:07Winchester, 5 min, Fighting
08:07Seabrook, 5 min, Fighting
08:07Seabrook, 10 min, Misconduct
08:07Seabrook, 2 min, Instigator
18:23Eager, 2 min, Holding the Stick
2ND PERIOD
20.0Brewer, 2 min, Tripping
07:36Crombeen, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
08:02Toews, 2 min, Roughing
18:04Winchester, 2 min, Cross-Checking
20:00Brewer, 2 min, Cross-Checking
3RD PERIOD
04:39Kariya, 2 min, High-Sticking
07:20Sopel, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
09:44Bolland, 2 min, High-Sticking
12:26Crombeen, 10 min, Misconduct
15:00Colaiacovo, 2 min, Tripping
19:29Byfuglien, 5 min, Slashing
19:29Byfuglien, 10 min, Game Misconduct
Shots On Goal
 123T
St. Louis1081331
Chicago1111426
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Ty Conklin51:05193
Chris Mason 7:4313
Antti Niemi59:53265
Game Information
Attendance - 22155
Referees - Stephen Walkom, Steve Kozari
Linesmen - Darren Gibbs, Brian Murphy
 
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Edm 5
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