ST. LOUIS – So how is everyone’s blood pressure now?
We’re guessing it was through the roof at the end of the third period, when the Blackhawks’ 3-1 lead had turned into a 3-3 tie with the St. Louis Blues. We’re guessing it was even higher through that first overtime, when the Blackhawks seemed to be in penalty kill mode and the Blues were more than happy to attack.
But that’s all over. With Kane’s game-winner, blood pressures are once again calm – for now. So while you all catch your breath, read our Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 4-3 double-overtime victory over the Blues.
1. Patrick Kane’s first goal of this postseason. Well, it took a while and a change up in the lines for him to get it, but Kane was once again scoring a postseason game-winner. The Blackhawks had been looking for goals from their top stars for a few games now. Kane, once again paired with Jonathan Toews on the top line, finally got his at the best possible time.
2. Corey Crawford holds up in overtime. Crawford was probably as frustrated as anyone when the Blues tied this game 3-3 late in regulation, although David Backes’ redirect was just a thing of beauty. Whatever angst Crawford was feeling, however, he didn’t show it in overtime. He stopped 11 shots in the first overtime, part of his 43-stop performance on the night. Said coach Joel Quenneville, “he was great. He was around the net, quick. They make side-to-side passes frombehind the net, he challenges at the right time, he was big and he was on top of it. “
3. Artemi Panarin’s second period. The 24-year-old, coming off a great regular season, was a big reason why the Blackhawks had a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes on Thursday. Artem Anisimov scored off his rebound but the bigger moment was when Panarin scored with just 0.4 seconds remaining in the second. Panarin wasn’t part of the massive line changes the Blackhawks underwent heading into Game 5. For him, familiarity, especially with Anisimov, was the best recipe.
4. Hello, Marian Hossa. The right wing was one of several top forwards who were still goal-less entering Game 4 of this series. Hossa ended his drought with a short-handed goal midway through the first period. He was also critical on defense as he and line mates Marcus Kruger and Andrew Ladd had the tough task of trying to quell Vladimir Tarasenko. It worked –Tarasenko was held off the scoresheet.
5. They survive. Even though the first period ended in a scoreless tie, the Blackhawks didn’t look like they had much life. What life they did get with their 3-1 lead following the second period could have been erased when the Blues tied it in the third, but it wasn’t. This Blackhawks team isn’t as deep and isn’t always as composed as past squads, but their ability to stick around and pull games out of the fire remains.