CHICAGO, April 21 (UPI) -- Scott Mellanby and Pavol Demitra scored power-play goals and Scott Young added a shorthanded tally Sunday night as the St. Louis Blues reclaimed home-ice advantage in their Western Conference quarterfinal series with a 4-0 victory over the punchless Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blues used superior special teams' play to grab a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Playing for the second time in as many days, they limited Chicago to 12 shots, just one in the third period. Brent Johnson hardly had to break a sweat for his second straight shutout.
"We're keeping their chances to the outside. And when they take their shots, I was able to see the puck," Johnson said. "I made a couple of saves tonight where I didn't have to do anything because then our defense would just come by and sweep the puck away."
St. Louis is four for 14 on the power play in the series while keeping the Blackhawks scoreless in 10 chances with the extra man.
"Special teams wins playoff games," Blues left wing Keith Tkachuk said. "Right now, our penalty-killing is doing the job. And obviously, we'd like to take less penalties. But our power play has got some big goals for us."
Watching the first Stanley Cup playoff game in Chicago since 1997, the crowd at the United Center was at a fever pitch during the national anthem. It was all downhill thereafter.
"It was great at the beginning and the fans were incredible. And it was wasted," Blackhawks Coach Brian Sutter said. "And I don't know, maybe it took something out of us because they ended up with four power plays in the first period."
Jamal Mayers scored off a two on one just 1:48 into the first period, wristing a low shot from just above the left faceoff dot past goaltender Jocelyn Thibault's stick side.
Mellanby made it 2-0 at 13:26. Just 22 seconds after Blackhawks rookie Aaron Downey was penalized for charging, Keith Tkachuk made a quick centering pass from behind the net that Mellanby flicked by Thibault for his second goal of the series.
A minute deep into the second period, Tkachuk spun at the left side of the net and threw a pass across the crease to Demitra, who had little trouble putting a shot past Thibault for his second playoff goal.
Chicago managed only four shots in the second period, despite three power plays. On the third, a blunder by Thibault led to Young's goal. Thibault went behind the net to play a dump-in but could not control the puck. Young stole it, swooped around the right goalpost and scored before the goalie could recover.
Thibault surrendered four goals on 17 shots and was replaced by Steve Passmore to start the third period.
The Blackhawks will try to bounce back in Game 4 at home on Tuesday night.
Chicago has just two goals in the first three games of the series and has gone 123 minutes, 10 seconds since its last one.
"Tonight is not the way the Blackhawks play," Chicago captain Tony Amonte said. "That's not our team and that's not us. It's just unfortunate we couldn't use all that energy at the start. Guys like myself have to step up. Right now, I'm playing like a boy and I need to start playing like a man."