Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-3 comeback win over the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center on Wednesday night:
1. Duncan Keith helps spoil Blues playoff chances.
Ever since the Blackhawks were eliminated from playoff contention, they've talked about how fun it would be to play spoiler for teams fighting for a seat at the table. This had to feel good.
Keith scored the game-winning goal on the power play with 8.5 seconds in the third period to cap a two-goal comeback, ultimately blocking the Blues from picking up not only a crucial two points, but one after it looked like the game would head into overtime.
It was the first time this season the Blues had lost in regulation when leading after two periods (31-1-2). They remain one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
It also had to feel great for the two-time Norris Trophy winner, who's been snake-bitten all season long and ended a 21-game goal drought.
Going into the matchup, Keith had one goal on 183 shots for a shooting percentage of 0.5, which is unheard of even for a defenseman. By scoring his second goal, Keith doubled his shooting percentage to 1.0 percent (2-for-186).
2. Alex DeBrincat's quest for 30.
The scoring race for the team lead in goals continues to be an entertaining battle to watch between Patrick Kane and DeBrincat, the latter of whom has regained sole possession of first. And it'll likely go down to the wire.
It was a terrific shot by the 20-year-old rookie for his 28th of the season, but one that probably should've been stopped by Blues netminder Jake Allen.
DeBrincat told reporters in St. Louis before the game that 30 is a number he's shooting for as the season winds down: "I want to reach that goal, but it's going to be pretty tough to do," he said. "We'll see."
Two more to go with two games left.
3. Blake Hillman latest to score first career NHL goal.
In his second career NHL game, Hillman got on the scoresheet and did so in a big way.
Trailing 3-1 in the middle of the second period, Keith committed a hooking penalty that gave the Blues an opportunity to make it a three-goal lead. Instead, the former NCAA champion at Denver University scored a shorthanded goal with an absolute missile from the point to cut the Blackhawks' deficit to 3-2.
He's the third Blackhawks player in the last 30 seasons whose first career NHL goal was a shorthanded one, joining Jake Dowell (Nov. 22, 2007) and Mike Hudson (Oct. 12, 1988), according to TSN's StatsCentre.
Hillman also became the seventh Blackhawks player this season to score his first career NHL goal, joining Jan Rutta, DeBrincat, Jordan Oesterle, David Kampf, Erik Gustafsson and Matthew Highmore.
And it's certainly possible that number could increase before it's all said and done, with Victor Ejdsell and Dylan Sikura as candidates to get their firsts as well.
4. Andreas Martinsen turns in best effort of season.
If you're looking for someone who had an impact in practically every aspect of the game, it's Martinsen. He was all over the scoresheet: six shot attempts, a team-high five shots on goal, two hits and one takeaway in a season-high 14:03 of ice time.
Oh yeah, and he also scored his first goal of the season when his shot trickled past Allen in the first period to tie things up at 1-1. A perfect reward to his best performance of the season, hands down.
5. J-F Berube keeps Blackhawks in it.
Say what you want about Berube, but the Blackhawks don't win this game without him.
Yes, he allowed another soft goal on Robert Bortuzzo that made it 1-0, but this guy is a battler. He stays with it and doesn't get fazed when he gives up a goal he knows he should've had.
He faced 29 shots in the first two periods, a couple of which were breakaways and another handful that turned into odd-man rushes, then stopped all five in the third frame to finish with 31 saves on 34 shots for a .912 save percentage.
Expect him to get another shot against St. Louis on Friday. He's earned it.