Chicago Blackhawks hold off late rally for victory
The Chicago Blackhawks had a triumphant return home on Tuesday with a 7-5 win over the St. Louis Blues. The Blackhawks had spent the last 16 days on the road during a six-game road trip.
It looked early on like the Blackhawks were more than happy to be back on home ice after building a 5-1 lead in the second period. However, the Blues staged a late rally to make things
interesting. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews who had two goals and an assist in the win touched on how the momentum quickly shifted in the game.
“It’s easy to feel you’re losing the game all of a sudden. The momentum swung so much in their favour,” Toews said after Chicago improved its home record to 6-7.
“It was a huge difference from when we’ve been there before, when we’ve given away games in our own building. Everybody on the bench was positive. … But you shouldn’t have to score five,
six, seven goals to win.”
After Tomas Kopecky opened the scoring for Chicago, the two teams then traded late goals to end the first period with the Blackhawks leading 2-1.
Chicago then appeared to take control of the game with three unanswered goals in the second period. Troy Brouwer and Toews both scored on the power play and Patrick Kane scored his 10th
of the season to open up a 5-1 lead. However, the Blues were able to get one back before the period ended after defenceman Erik Brewer scored to make it 5-2. That’s when the momentum shifted.
The Blues were able to build off the late goal and scored two quick goals to start the third period on back-to-back goals from Alex Pietrangelo and Brad Boyes.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville saw enough and decided to call a timeout.
“We were a little too casual there in the third to start the period and they got themselves back in the hockey game. We’ve had some games like this in the past, where we need to be looking
to make it 6-2, rather than be happy with what we have,” Quenneville said.
“Tonight was a real dangerous game, first game back after a long trip, against a team that plays hard. You’ve got to stick with it mentally in games like this.”‘
The timeout seemed to wake up his team, as the Blackhawks then scored back-to-back goals of their own with Kane and Toews each scoring their second goals of the game. Blues forward David
Backes got one back for the Blues to make it 7-5 with just under three minutes to play, but fell short and were unable to get any more pucks behind Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, who improved his record to 5-4-0.
Ty Conklin gave up all seven goals for the Blues on just 24 shots, for his first regulation loss of the season