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St. Louis Blues rally, pull out shootout win over Chicago Blackhawks

By
Nate Latsch, The Sports Xchange
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford reaches for a loose puck after a St. Louis Blues shot in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2016. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford reaches for a loose puck after a St. Louis Blues shot in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2016. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues are well aware that nothing has come easy for them this season, especially in the Western Conference's rugged Central Division, and that was the case again on Wednesday night.

The Blues rallied with two power-play goals in the third period, gave up the tying goal with 1:17 remaining and then used a strong effort from goalie Jake Allen to earn a 3-2 victory at Scottrade Center after outlasting the visiting Chicago Blackhawks in a shootout.

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"Nothing comes easy, especially in our division," said Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who scored the game-winner in the sixth round of the shootout. "It looked like these guys were running away with the division earlier on, Dallas as well, but we're right in the mix now and that's something we want to try to capture is that division title. This was a big win tonight. Tough to give up that extra point, but we still get two points and we're chasing Dallas."

David Backes and Troy Brouwer scored goals and Allen made 33 saves for St. Louis (39-20-9), which has won four straight games and nine of 12.

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"We come out of here with two points, find another way to win and get one more day to get a few more healthy bodies back here and the key guys that we're missing," Backes said. "But a gutsy effort by a lot of guys today."

The Blues' 87 points are the third most in the Western Conference as well as the Central Division, just one behind Chicago (41-21-6) and Dallas (40-20-8). All three teams have now played 68 games.

The Blackhawks, who earned a point to move up into the tie with the Stars, got goals from Andrew Ladd and Artemi Panarin and 28 saves from Corey Crawford.

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"We're disappointed we gave up the lead and then you score with the goalie out you got to be pretty happy on the road," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was a great hockey game. Both teams had their chances late. Shootout and overtime there was back and forth, the game's on the line there throughout and real tight."

The Blackhawks outshot the Blues 15-6 in the first period, but weren't able to score despite four penalties that gave them 6:17 minutes of power-play time.

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Blues forward Ryan Reaves was given a five-minute major penalty for charging and a game misconduct after a hit on Christian Ehrhoff with 2:17 left in the first period.

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"We have the luxury of slowing it down," Backes said. "Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt, but (Ehrhoff) is back in the second period and the unfortunate thing is at the time you just have to make the call -- whether it's five (minutes) and a game or two or what the deal is. Ryan Reaves is a guy that he makes his living getting in on the forecheck and big hits and separating guys from the puck. ... I don't think he's predatory by any means. We had to pay the price in this game to have a five-minute kill and they're able to score a goal on it and we fought back."

St. Louis was able to kill the remainder of that penalty at the end of the first period, but Chicago's top-ranked power-play unit took advantage early in the second.

Ladd scored his 19th of the season -- and second in five games since the Blackhawks traded for him -- when he redirected a shot from Teuvo Teravainen past Allen for a power-play goal and 1-0 lead just 1:14 into the second period.

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The Blues tied the score with a power-play goal with 11:14 remaining in the third period when Backes redirected a shot from Shattenkirk for his 17th of the season. Shattenkirk and Vladimir Tarasenko earned the assists.

The Backes goal tied him with Al MacInnis for sixth on the Blues' career points list with 452.

Brouwer put the Blues ahead with his own power-play tally, his 13th goal of the season, with 6:40 remaining after a nice pass from Paul Stastny.

Panarin tied it with his 25th of the season with 1:17 remaining on a shot from the slot, assisted by Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith.

Patrik Berglund, Brouwer and Shattenkirk scored in the shootout for St. Louis. Panarin and Artem Anisimov scored for Chicago.

"I think the majority of the game we played pretty well," Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews said. "We just need those timely penalty kills in the third and we didn't get them. We've got to be better."

NOTES: The NHL announced the Blues will host the Blackhawks in the 2017 Winter Classic on Jan. 2 at Busch Stadium. ... The NHL announced Wednesday it had determined the allegations of sexual assault made against Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane were unfounded. ... The Blackhawks and C Marcus Kruger agreed to a three-year contraction extension on Wednesday. The Chicago Tribune reported the deal is worth $9.25 million. ... Wednesday's game was the 300th regular-season contest between the Blackhawks and Blues. ... The Blackhawks were hoping to get RW Marian Hossa back from a lower-body injury on Wednesday, but announced after the morning skate Hossa would miss his ninth consecutive game. He will likely return Friday night when Chicago plays at Dallas. ... LW Magnus Paajarvi and D Robert Bortuzzo were healthy scratches for St. Louis. ... RW Richard Panik and D Erik Gustafsson were healthy scratches for Chicago.

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