The Blues got their first playoff win in Chicago since 2002 with a 3-2 victory over the Blackhawks in Game 3 Sunday. It’s the first time in 74 games that the Hawks have lost in regulation after leading going into the third period.
We were wondering if the Blues had anything else to throw at the Hawks, especially since the series was shifting to Chicago. Well we got our answer. St. Louis dominated the third period, and took advantage of a bounce and an extended power play to steal back home ice from the Hawks. Let’s take a look at this one…
-Not a lot of positives to take from this one. The Hawks managed to put up 46 shots, but could only get two of them past Brian Elliott, who has been sensational. You can look at it as the Hawks doing a great job creating offensive chances, but if they aren’t going in it means nothing.
-It looked early on that the Blues were gonna Blues once again. The Hawks had THREE power plays early in the first period. But only one goal to show for it… A missed chance to bury St. Louis right away.
-The Blues did a good job in the third period upping their forecheck. They did a nice job keeping the Hawks pinned in their own zone and making them uncomfortable in the process. I felt like the third period was the first time in this series where the Blackhawks really looked uncomfortable. They seemed absolutely shell-shocked after Berglund’s tying goal.
-Not sure how you can blame any of this on Crawford. The first two goals were each deflected, the second one taking a crazy fortunate bounce for the Blues. The third goal just a fantastic play design and execution by the Blues’ power play. St. Louis had 36 shots, and Crawford had to make a lot of incredible saves to even make this one close. The goalies are the story of the series so far. They have both been great.
-Ken Hitchcock is right when he says this feels like a Final. The emotion back and forth, every single shift. Emotionally and physically this is like a Stanley Cup Final series.
-Still waiting for Kane and Panarin to get going. So far they have been buzzing but with virtually nothing to show for it. It seems like they are a touch away every time they have a chance. Kane took responsibility for his bad panalty late in the third period that lead to the GWG. I’d say look for him to be very motivated Tuesday night.
-Rozsival was without a doubt the worst Hawk on the ice tonight. Two Blues goals in this series are a result of him doing something stupid.
-When Ladd hit both posts and didn’t score to go up 3-1 I knew the Hawks were in a bad spot. That was brutal. St. Louis definitely has the puck luck so far in this series.
Well this is obviously a less than ideal spot to be in, but it’s not unfamiliar. As I’ve said time and time again, the Blackhawks play their best hockey with their backs against the wall. Just look at the Hawks’ record in the past six seasons in Games 4-7 and it speaks for itself. This team isn’t afraid of the pressure, they revel in it. Crawford said in the postgame that they need to get “pissed off.” He’s right, and I believe they are. The question is will the Blues wilt? Or step up to the moment in Game 4 to take a stranglehold on the series? We know what the Hawks have in them. The burden of proof is on St. Louis.
The Hawks have been here before. I trust them to respond accordingly in Game 4.