Rd 1: Game IV Recap
Game Four of the first round series between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues took place in Chicago for the second time. There was talk before the game about the possible return of Blues Captain David Backes. He did not suit up tonight. Many speculated that this was a mental tactic by Coach Ken Hitchcock to psych out the Chicago Blackhawks for tonight's 8:30 start time. The first period would kick off being all Blackhawks.
Patrick Kane would be there to lead rush after rush as the Hawks took on Ryan Miller. Miller would stand firm stopping all 13 Chicago shots in the first period. At 13:32 of the first Steve Ott and Michal Handzus would kick off the high emotion shenanigans. Handzus would fall into Ott and Miller and proceed to do a push up onto the Face of Ott. Miller would contribute to Hanzus' behavior by face washing the sumbitch’s face with his mitt. Otter of course would not be happy. He would run his mouth and drop a glove as the hulk in him came out. Handzus would seem to laugh and continue to poke the bear but would not drop the gloves. Ott would get the extra minor for unsportsmanlike conduct as a result of the scrum, giving the team in red the first power play of the game. The Blues would kill the power of Chicago’s power play and end up drawing a power play of their own as the penalty on Ott and Hanzus expired. The Blues power play would continue to be mediocre at best. Chicago easily killed off the power play as the first period ended.
Shit went down hill in the second period. The first half was like watching the Blues run around on the power play but never take a shot at Crawford. They had pressure and a few good chances but would continue to stab themselves in the foot by taking wide shots or getting the extra pass in. Chicago would be the first to score at 8:40 of the second, on the power play. Maxim Lapierre would go to the box at 8:29 for a pointless trip on Patrick Sharp. The rest is history.
Chicago would kick it in high gear and take a 2-0 lead at 16:09 with a Patrick Kane wrist shot. The second period would feel like days to go by as the final 5 minutes seemed to be the writing on the wall for the Blues. At 18:51 the Russian angel, Vladimir Tarasenko would FINALLY score on the power play at 18:51 to cut the Chicago lead in half.
Max Lapierre would score with 4 seconds left in the second to tie up the game.
The momentum would shift in the third period as the Blues would come out strong. The period would move by fast as each team put pressure on one another but would stay disciplined to stay out of the box. At 12:26 Senko would get his second of the evening, and 4th of the playoffs, to put the Blues on top 3-2.
Unfortunately, Miller couldn't hold off Bryan Bickell. At 16:08 he would even up the score. Overtime was imminent as the last 4 minutes ticked by with out a goal for either squad. Overtime would see the Blues revert back to being overworked and outplayed in quite a few areas. At 11:17 Patrick Kane would get number two for the night. Blackhawks win 4-3. Series tied 2-2.
Hopefully things fair better as the series heads back to St. Louis.