Jackman's overtime goal lifts Blues to 2-0 series lead

News-DemocratApril 20, 2014 

— Down and nearly out for the second game in a row, the suddenly resilient St. Louis Blues found a way to get it done again.

Vladimir Tarasenko sent the game to overtime with 6.4 seconds remaining in regulation Saturday after the Blues had pulled their goaltender during a power play to create a 6-on-4 advantage.

Barret Jackman's goal won it 5:50 into overtime as the Blues' 4-3 victory gave them a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven NHL Western Conference first-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

It was the Blues' second straight overtime win in the series after a 4-3, triple-overtime victory in Game 1. Jaden Schwartz's goal with 1:45 remaining in regulation got that one to OT.

This one was just as wild and crazy, inspired by the Blues' desire to find a way to win for their injured captain.

Blues captain David Backes left the game following a violent hit by Chicago's Brent Seabrook with 4 minutes, 51 seconds remaining.

Seabrook received a five-minute charging major and game misconduct, but Backes did not return.

"When Backes goes down like that, I think that gave us a little bit more push to finish it off for him," Blues winger Chris Porter said.

Kevin Shattenkirk said while the hit angered the Blues, it took a controlled response to gain the proper revenge.

"I was glad to see him get up -- and he got up with that fire in his eyes like we always see him after he gets hit," Shattenkirk said. "We stuck up for him, that's the most important part. We had to let them know that it wasn't all right.

"We went out there and we scored a goal and that's the most important thing."

Jackman has two career playoff goals and they couldn't have come at better times. Each was a game-winner, each giving the Blues a 2-0 lead in their playoff series.

"Just bury the head and try to get it through," said Jackman, whose low shot from the left point snaked through the pads of Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford. "I guess I save them up my whole career for some special ones. ... But it's nice to chip in offensively once in a while."

After the Blues pulled goalie Ryan Miller for an extra attacker, Tarasenko took a feed from Alex Pietrangelo and guided a wrist shot on net from near the top of the right circle.

"I didn't know how many seconds were left. I just tried to be open for Petro," Tarasenko said. "Just pick a spot. Kind of a hard shot for a goalie, but again, it's not about me. It's all about our partners. Petro gave it too me, Schwartz made a nice screen."

The shot went in off the goalpost, giving Tarasenko his second goal in two games and forcing overtime.

"I heard him scream, I didn't know if it was English or Russia or what it was," Pietrangelo said of Tarasenko, who missed 15 games before the playoffs because of a hand injury. "I knew he wanted the puck."

Game 3 is set for Monday in Chicago.

"It's a series filled with a lot of emotion, a lot of intensity," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Both teams battle like crazy. We're lucky we've held serve and now we've gotta take it into Chicago and see if we can get a win."

A dominant first period and goals by Porter and Shattenkirk gave the Blues a 2-0 lead, but the defending Stanley Cup champs responded with three straight goals on only five shots.

Just seconds away from seeing the series evened up, the Blues got a huge goal from Tarasenko. Jackman's goal sent the sellout crowd of 19,639 through the roof.

"That would be tough to lose, but the resiliency is unbelievable," Porter said. "We've shown it throughout the whole year."

Trailing 2-0, Chicago found new life on a goal from Duncan Keith with 2:35 remaining in the second period. The Blackhawks tied it 2-2 4:53 into the third period on a goal by Seabrook.

Less than two minutes later, Michal Rozsival's shot from near the blue line hit Backes and changed directions, eluding Miller as the Blackhawks took the lead.

"The first and third goals I think hit sticks," Miller said. "The second one, I can't let that one go in That's a bad time in the game to have that go in. Fortunately for me tonight the guys battled back, didn't let it faze them

"It was great to see them stick with it and get rewarded."

One place the Blues are struggling is on a power play that was 1-for-9 Saturday and is 1-for-13 in the series. Tarasenko's goal was on a power play, but that's been it.

"The power play got us a big goal," Hitchcock said. "The power play got us the big goal at the right time to keep us in the game."

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or follow him on Twitter: @NormSanders

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