Blackhawks rally past Blues in Game 2 to even series

Blackhawks rally past Blues in Game 2 to even series

ST. LOUIS – Andrew Shaw had just one thought running through his mind as the St. Louis Blues challenged his goal, claiming goaltender interference.

“Just count. Just count, please,” he said.

It did, and thanks to that and a late empty-net goal, the Blackhawks are going back to Chicago tied 1-1 in their first-round series.

Shaw’s power-play goal counted and Artemi Panarin’s empty-net goal proved to be the winner as the Blackhawks beat the Blues 3-2 on Friday night. The two square off again on Sunday afternoon in Chicago.

Duncan Keith, back after serving his six-game suspension, had a goal and an assist. Patrick Kane had two assists and Corey Crawford stopped 29 of 31 shots in the victory. Vladimir Tarasenko and Kevin Shattenkirk scored for the Blues.

On a night when coach’s challenges came into play twice, the Blackhawks were the beneficiaries both times. The first nullified a Blues goal. Tarasenko looked to give the Blues a 2-1 lead with less than eight minutes remaining in regulation. But the Blackhawks challenged for offside and, after a lengthy review, the officials ruled it no goal.

“Someone on the bench said it’s offside and we got it late, and I was screaming like a crazy man, just got [the review] in time,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think the longer [the review] went, we felt better about it.”

About four minutes later the Blues countered with their own coach’s challenge, saying Shaw interfered with goaltender Brian Elliott on his power-play goal. This review wasn’t nearly as long and went against the Blues, giving the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead with 4:19 remaining in regulation.

It was quite the turn of events. The Blues could live with the offside ruling – “I mean the offside is offside. It’s cut and dry,” Ryan Reaves said. But the Blues were frustrated that Shaw’s goal counted.

“We’re going to have to fight,” coach Ken Hitchcock said. “When you play the defending Cup champions you’re going to have to fight through a lot of stuff. Calls aren’t going to go your way. It’s always going to seem one-sided… Big deal. Fight through it.”

The Blackhawks had to fight through their goal-less drought through (nearly) the first 40 minutes of this one, too. Then it was Keith, fresh off his suspension and back playing a big role, scoring with just 3.2 seconds remaining in the second period. His goal ended the Blackhawks’ postseason scoreless drought at 109 minutes.

“Well he picked up where we left off last year in the playoffs,” Jonathan Toews said. “We know what he brings. We put him out there in situations and eventually something’s going to happen. He brought that tonight.”

Then came the two coach’s challenges in the third period, including the one that kept Shaw’s goal in place.

“I didn’t know if they were going to look at goalie interference or not but I knew I was crosschecked from behind,” Shaw said. “I was confident it was a goal but obviously there was some doubt there as well.”

The Blackhawks wanted to leave St. Louis with a split. They were an overtime goal away from taking two but they’ll take 1-1 going home. They’ll take both coach’s challenge rulings, too.

“Well we felt we had to win one and we know we were compromised coming in here Game 1 without Duncs. Getting it back after a real tough loss, it was a great response,” Quenneville said. “Take one game at a time. We know it’s going to get tougher as we go along but we like the progression with today’s win.”

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?


Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: