ST. LOUIS — Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 7-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on Saturday:
1. A four-goal first period
The Blackhawks and Blues barely gave fans a chance to get settled into their seats (or couches at home). There were four total goals in the first period, including three in the opening 5:28 and the first coming 18 seconds in. All four goals came at even strength.
Ryan O'Reilly, Patrick Kane, Zach Sanford and Artem Anisimov each found the back of the net, alternating goals throughout the period.
"Even after we went down 1-0 we had that nice response to make it 1-1," Kane said. "It seemed like they were playing with a little bit more intensity than we were. We knew that was going to happen especially with the media attention, a lot of talk they've been getting about their team and kind of what happened last game. So we just didn't come out and match it."
2. Blackhawks dig hole in second period
The first 5:14 of the second period was a nightmare for the Blackhawks. They committed two penalties and gave up two goals within a span of 3:35, and essentially were forced to play catch-up the rest of the game.
The Blackhawks pushed back and were the better team for the next 15 minutes, recording 17 shot attempts to the Blues' five at even strength, but it was too much to overcome against a hungry Blues team.
"When we give up four goals, it's tough to come back against any team," Duncan Keith said. "They've got a lot of good players that have been around for a while. It wasn't a good start. We did some good things to get back into it, but at the end of the day when you're trying to come back against a team it's always tougher."
3. Second line comes alive
The second line of Anisimov, Kane and Brandon Saad was the driving force for the Blackhawks, combining for three goals and four assists. Anisimov and Kane each had three-point games.
With two more goals, Kane has taken over the NHL lead with 11 on the season and is four away from the lead in points with 17. Meanwhile, Anisimov quietly has seven points in his past seven games after going pointless in his first four.
"Our line had some chances tonight," Kane said. "I thought we had a few that could have went in as well. Would have been nice to get a couple more there and tie it up and see what could happen after that. A couple breakdowns defensively that kind of killed us tonight."
4. Blues shut down Blackhawks in third period
Going into Saturday's matchup, the Blues had allowed 18 third-period goals through nine games, which was the worst in the league. But they tightened up in the final 20 minutes, limiting the Blackhawks to only five shots on goal and keeping all five out of their net.
The Blues scored three goals in the last 4:20 to seal the deal.
"I still think the game was there to be had but unfortunately we weren't good enough and we weren't at our best for whatever reason," Keith said. "Give them some credit, they moved it around on the power play and capitalized on their chances. But I still think the game was to be had, it was up for grabs, but it wasn't good enough at the end of the day."