The Blues hadn't allowed more than four goals in a game through the first 11 contests of the season. On Wednesday night against the Blackhawks, they gave up five in the first period.
On top of that — already without Patrik Berglund, Jaden Schwartz, Kevin Shattenkirk and Paul Stastny — the Blues lost Steve Ott in the second period with an upper-body injury while starting goaltender Brian Elliott was pulled twice, the second time due to an injury after he collided with Jonathan Toews during a breakaway opportunity.
Perhaps in previous years, a three-goal deficit in the defending Stanley Cup champions' building would've demoralized a team looking to break through in May.
But not this time.
"We just kept elevating our game. None of that affected us," Blues captain David Backes said of overcoming injuries and a three-goal deficit in a 6-5 overtime win over the Blackhawks. "That's the resiliency and the character that we're building here. It's one of the things we've identified that has led to lack of success in the playoffs. Now we're showing those things 10, 12, 15 games in, which is a great sign.
"We gotta keep building on that and it just becomes perpetual."
"Resiliency. Not giving up," Jake Allen, who registered 27 saves in relief, echoed. "Chicago's one of our main rivals. They've sort of had our number the last few years and to be able to come back like that and prove a point was pretty special."
The Blues also faced resiliency off the ice. The team arrived in Chicago at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning after heavy fog forced their flight to land in Milwaukee, where they took a bus the rest of the way.
It was also the second of a back-to-back, after getting shut out by the Los Angeles Kings at home on Tuesday night.
But they weren't going to use that — or any circumstance for that matter — as an excuse.
"There are a ton of excuses out there we could've used and just kind of said, 'It's not our night,' but that wasn't us and that shows a lot of character in this room," Backes said. "We could use any excuse we wanted, but it's the NHL. You've got to be ready for the drop of the puck or you're going to be in a world of hurt."
The Blues were somewhat ready, but it wasn't until the second period when it showed they wouldn't go down without a fight.
After Alex Steen pulled the game within two goals early in the second period, Jay Bouwmeester and Backes each found the back of the net in the final three minutes of the period that left a United Center crowd of 21,676 silent.
"With the day or night or whatever you want to call it we had, to come back and play with the energy we did in the second period, I thought the second period was one of the best periods we've played all year," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We really did the things we wanted to do. Guys deserve a lot of credit. We hit the wall a little bit in the third from what we'd gone through.
"You could see guys were trying and they were a little bit tired, but to play the way we did in the second period, we had every reason to want to fight another day. We wanted to dig in and the guys did that."
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They dug in to the end, when Vladimir Tarasenko — on a long shift — potted the game-winner with 1 minute, 6 seconds left in overtime that helped improve the Blues' record to 9-3-1 on the season.
They're now 3-0-1 in games following a loss this year, and displayed the kind of resiliency any Stanley Cup contending team needs.
"It means a lot knowing that we've got this resolve that we can come back (from three goals down)," Hitchcock said. "It's a good sign."