It was a night where they would have preferred to win in regulation, but any win over the Chicago Blackhawks has to be a positive for the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues collected two more valuable points Wednesday with a 3-2 shootout win over the Blackhawks before a sellout crowd of 19,756 at Scottrade Center.
The win moved the Blues (39-20-9, 87 points) to within one point of first-place Chicago and Dallas in the Central Division standings.
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The shootout lasted six rounds before Kevin Shattenkirk scored to put the Blues on top and a shot by Chicago’s Teuvo Tervainen hit the goalpost to clinch the win.
Blues goalie Jake Allen stopped 33 of 35 shots in overtime and regulation, then came up big throughout the shootout.
“We’d love to lock that down and win it in regulation against these guys, but they’ve got good players,” Blues captain David Backes said. “They made us play an extra five minutes and how many rounds in the shootout ... we’re good at those long ones. Jake was phenomenal, huge saves when we needed him and we find a way to get three goals in that shootout.”
Allen said the game turned when the Blues held Chicago to one power-play goal during a five-minute power play that stretched from the end of the first period to the start of the second.
“The way we came out of the first period 0-0 with nine minutes in penalties ... I think that was the turning point in the game,” Allen said. “If you have five minutes (on a power play) you should score a goal, I think. But we stuck with it in the second period and guys played great.”
What’s Allen secret to success in the shootouts? He had big saves to rob both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
“Have some fun, that’s all,” Allen said. “I know I’m not going to win every one, I’m a realistic human being. I just stick to my instinicts and trust myself.”
Trailing 1-0 headed to the third period the Blues got power-play goals from Backes and Troy Brouwer in the third period to wipe out the Chicago lead.
Before Wednesday, the Blackhawks were 33-0-2 this season when leading after two periods. The Blues were 4-16-3 when trailing after two periods.
But just when it seemed the Blues were going to escape with a 2-1 win, the Blues failed to clear the puck out of their own end and Artemi Panarin’s 25th goal with 1:17 remaining sent things to overtime.
Panarin beat Blues goalie Allen on a wrist shot from the shot.
“To respond the way we did and not mail it in or tuck tail the way we’ve done in past years, it’s a great sign,” Backes said. “We come out of here with two points and found another way to win. A gutsy effort by a lot of guys today.”
The teams battled through a scoreless overtime, though Chicago thought it had scored the game-winner. Andrew Ladd’s goal was immediately waved off by the on-ice officials and after a a video review, it was determined that Ladd had crashed into Allen before the puck went into the net with 2:52 remaining.
Down 1-0 through twp periods, the Blues made the Blackhawks play with three power plays in the third period.
They failed to score on the first one, then got goals from Backes and Brouwer on the next two.
Backes tied the game 1-1 when he tipped in a wrist shot from the high slot by Kevin Shattenkirk at the 8:42 mark. It was the 17th goal for Backes, who has two goals and four points during a four-game point streak.
A holding call on Chicago’s Christian Ehrhoff led to Brouwer’s power-play goal. He set himself up in the slot and beat Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford after taking a pass from behind the net by Paul Stastny.
Blues players and fans were not pleased when winger Ryan Reaves picked up not only a five-minuet major for charging but also a game misconduct for a big hit on Chicago defenseman Christian Ehrhoff late in the first period.
Ehrhoff appeared to see Reaves before the hit and took the hard hit. Replays showed Reaves’ hit was not to Ehrhoff’s head, but the penalty stood and handed the league’s No. 1 power-play unit a five-minute power play that stretched into the second period.
The Blackhawks, who were 14-for-28 on the power play in thier previous nine games and 6-for-12 in the last four, struck quicklly to grab a 1-0 lead.
Andrew Ladd tipped in a blast from the top of the right circle by Teuvo Teravainen, beating Jake Allen to give the Blackhawks another power-play goal 1:14 into the second period.
Allen was sharp early, robbing Patrick Kane on the doorstep with his goalie paddle late in the first period and later making a good glove save on Tomas Fleischmann in the second period.
Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook crushed Blues center Jori Lehtera into the boards and glass late in the second period, but Blues fans were howling again when there was no call.
Are the Blackhawks still the standard that other Western Conference and Central Division teams are measured by?
“I don’t think they’re a measuring stick just for us,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “To me, the two teams that play in the (Stanley Cup) finals are the measuring stick for everybody because they measure the style of game you have to play. You’re looking at how they built their team, what can you copy and what can you learn from.