Thursday, October 13, 2016
Blackhawks Lose To Blues In Season Opener, 5-2
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock St. Louis got what he needed from their best players, and that was more than enough on the opening night.
Vladimir Tarasenko had two goals and an assist, and blue started the season with a solid 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Jersey on Wednesday.
"The guys who were present did a number today," Hitchcock said. "The guys who have been here before and know what it feels like to play in this building, know what it feels like to play against Chicago, played very well today."
Kevin Shattenkirk and Paul Stastny each had a goal and two assists for the Blues, who eliminated the Blackhawks in seven games in the first round of the playoffs in April. Jake Allen had 17 saves in his first game since he was handed the lead work illegal trade blockade June Brian Elliott to Calgary.
San Luis went 3 for 5 on the power play.
"I think the last two days in practice really helped us find our rhythm," said defender Alex Pietrangelo, who took over as captain after David Backes signed with Boston in the offseason. "We kept it simple, try not to be too complicated. We have a lot of players who can shoot the puck. The most important thing is to put the puck into the net".
Richard Panik and Ryan Hartman scored for Chicago, which struggled in the second period. Corey Crawford finished with 29 saves.
The Blackhawks had five rookies in the lineup, and four players made their debut in the NHL. And they looked out of sync for much of the night.
"There's definitely some learning going on," coach Joel Quenneville said. "We will accept mistakes through hard work, because that's how you get better."
Hartman put Chicago in front 2-1 with his first NHL goal at 13:57 of the second, but the Blackhawks committed three penalties in a span of 1:34 late in the second. Captain Jonathan Toews Jersey was sent off for slashing with 2:06 left in the period, Artem Anisimov veteran center was called for hooking and defenseman Duncan Keith received a high-sticking penalty at 19:28.
During the delay after the call on Keith, Tarasenko tied 2 with a wrist shot that beat Crawford stick side goalkeeper. The 24-year-old Tarasenko set career highs with 40 goals and 74 points last season.
"It has proven to be a big-time player and obviously these games mean a lot to us," Shattenkirk said. "He is someone who appears only in big games."
Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook saved a goal when he swept one bouncing off the line at the end of the second disc. But the Blues went ahead to stay in the power of meta-game Stastny 55 seconds into the third off a rebound on a shot from Tarasenko.
Chicago had two power play opportunities-in the third, but turned each time. Tarasenko then ended with the Blackhawks an empty-netter with 1:06 remaining, and Scottie Upshall was credited with a second empty-netter in what looked like an own goal for Chicago.
"We did a lot of what we wanted," Toews said. "Our energy, our speed and our work ethic was not there. We have to regroup and try to come up with that energy in the next, and play a little smarter, too."
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