Jordan Schmaltz finally gets a chance to face his brother Nick Schmaltz for their first NHL contest. Vince Dunn is a healthy scratch for the second game in a row. Jaden Schwartz wouldn’t start the game as he is a bit banged up after taking a puck to the skate in the game prior. Chris Thorburn starts on the 4th line Right Wing with Ivan Barbashev on the other side and Robert Thomas centering.
Robert Bortuzzo partners with Schmaltz, Jay Bouwmeester with Colton Parayko, and Alex Pietrangelo with Joel Edmundson. We see Sammy Blais receive an opportunity to play on the second line in Schwartz absence. He’d join Brayden Schenn and David Perron on the 2nd unit. Patrick Maroon and Ryan O’Reilly work with Tarasenko. Blues go with the third line of Alex Steen, Tyler Bozak, and Jordan Kyrou. Jake Allen gets the start after a fantastic performance a few nights ago VS Calgary.
The Blackhawks honored Duncan Kieth before the game for his 1,000th NHL game. Then that crazy opera guy sang the Anthem.
The Blues had several chances in the early going but Chicago goalie, Cam Ward rose to the challenge and kept the puck out of the net. David Perron started things off with a scoring chance after a Blackhawks turnover in their own zone. However, he was denied by Ward. Shortly after, Colton Parayko muscled his way to the net for another shot attempt that Ward was squared up for. We saw Joel Edmundson set Vladimir Tarasenko up in the slot but Vladi couldn’t get much on the shot and it went wide. Brayden Schenn had an opportunity just past 5 minutes into the 1st. Again, Ward looking poised, challenged the shot well outside his crease and made the save.
Duncan Keith put a shot on from the left point. Allen said no. Joki Hjaru had the closest of opportunities thus far with a shot from the center of the offensive zone near the blue line. Jake made the save with his blocker and the puck trickled just wide of the net. Nick Schmaltz challenged Jake Allen with confidence but I believe the shot went wide.
Halfway through the 1st period (10:09), Jay Bouwmeester received a minor penalty for interference. I personally did not agree with this call at all. By now shots on goal were 9 to 6 in favor of the Blackhawks. The Blues had a very sufficient Penalty Kill until there were just seconds left in the Chicago Power Play. Artem Anisimov was in front of the net being defended by Colton Parayko. He was able to capitalize on what looked to be a bouncing puck. Artem simply had a good eye on the puck and Colton didn’t as Darren Pang brought to our attention, making it 1-0 Chicago.
The Blackhawks received another power play when a delay of game was called on Joel Edmundson. The Hawks were then granted a 5 on 3 power play as Robert Bortuzzo charged the net for a shorthanded opportunity and ran the goaltender over. The 5 on 3 would only last for 8 seconds. The Hawks saw Patrick Kane take some shots on Jake Allen, but Jake had answers.
That is until something very ugly happened. The Hawks were able to capitalize as Jake Allen was unable to get up with two Blues players in his crease (behind him). Patrick Kane just walked the puck across the slot until he found the right opening and lifted it into the Blues net over all of the bodies, giving Chicago a 2-0 lead.
Jake Allen made a key save late in the 1st period to keep the Blues in this game. Hawks also hit the crossbar as things were winding down.
Chicago was leading in Shots on Goal (22 to 11) at the end of the 1st period as it seemed like the Blues were on the penalty kill most of the first period. Too many penalties. Again, I didn’t agree with the Bouwmeester interference call.
Sammy Blais had an opportunity to start the period off. He was fed the puck from Brayden Schenn and was robbed by the left pad of Cam Ward. Patrick Kane then came in on a two on one and took the shot. Jake said no with a great save. Tarasenko showed some frustration after having a shot blocked on the other end. The Hawks were owning the possession game for a while and the Blues were chasing the play. Jake Allen, however, continued to stay focused and go to work.
Six minutes into the period, Shots On Goal were 28 to 11 in favor of Chicago.
Jake Allen made a great save with a ton of traffic in front of him. He positioned himself very well and he continued to impress me. He was keeping them in the game.
The Blues received a Power Play at 10:51 when Nick Schmaltz was called for slashing. Patrick Maroon saw a chance and Ward had an answer for him to kick things off after Bozak made a smart play. Schenn was then denied by Ward, The Blues maintained possession. Ward, another save. Then, a breakaway by Nick Schmaltz resulted in a shot that went wide of the net.
Nick Schmaltz was called for tripping, and almost immediately after, Brayden Schenn finally put one past Ward. Jordan Schmaltz registered an assist on the play.
Jonathan Toews went for slashing at 6:05. The Blues failed to capitalize and were then 0 for 2 on the Power Play.
Jake Allen was really seeing the puck well. He was playing very comfortably, making multiple saves when he clearly couldn’t see the puck coming on the play because of the traffic in front of him. He was in his own head tonight.
With 15 seconds left in the 2nd period, Alex DeBrincat was again given a minor penalty. The Blues would go to the 3rd period with 1:45 PP time remaining. Chicago did take some penalties.
At this point, it seemed the Blues may be able to pull themselves together and make a comeback. Jake was the reason they were still in the game, considering his 37 saves in the first 40 minutes.
With the score at 2-1, the Blues began with the man advantage, Allen made another key save on Jonathan Toews. David Perron scored his 4th goal in his last two games to tie it up at 2-2.
The Power Play was not pretty but it did result in a goal with a good individual effort from Perron to tie the game after Ward misplayed a puck behind his own net with only 1 second left in the penalty to DeBrincat.
The Blues went on the Power Play again at 16:10 as Brayden Schenn was held on his way to the Blackhawks goal. Schenn then gave the Blues a 3-2 lead with a shot from the right circle that went under the left pad of Cam Ward. That was the 2nd Blues Power Play goal of the game.
Shortly after 5 on 5 play began, Patrick Kane’s shot hit the post. Patrick then wanted a call after being stripped of the puck by Tyler Bozak but did not get it.
It was very obvious at this point that the Blackhawks came into this game knowing they were going to throw everything including the kitchen sink at Jake Allen. Luckily, Jake was in hyper-focus mode all game long. Halfway through the 3rd period, the Shots On Goal differential was 29 to 42 in favor of the Blackhawks.
At 6:54, Alex DeBrincat put one past Jake Allen to tie the game at 3. DeBrincat received a pass from Duncan Keith after an impressive backhand outlet pass by Jonathan Toews.
At this point, it was up to the boys to put something past Ward. I had a lot of faith in Jake while watching him play this game. Ivan Barbashev saw himself quite the chance in front of the Blackhawks goal with around 3 minutes left in the 3rd period. Edmundson let a good shot go on Ward who made a great save. This one needed more time.
Tarasenko immediately takes the puck in and shoots it within the first 5 seconds of overtime. Great way to start the show. Later, Vladi was knocked down on another attempt to muscle his way in toward the goal, but there was no call.
Brayden Schenn had a breakaway and was denied by Ward. Patrick Kane received a pass for a one-timer attempt on the other end, but he didn’t get enough on it to put it on goal. Tarasenko then sees himself another good look but Duncan Kieth deflects his shot out of play.
Blackhawks win as DeBrincat picked up loose change and put it behind Allen who didn’t have a chance.
Jake Allen did everything that he could to keep the boys in this game.
Wow, is it obvious that Schwartz is a huge part of this teams identity?
The Blackhawks came into this one knowing they’d have to throw everything including the kitchen sink at Allen.
This was a disappointing game all around, but there were some good things to take from it.
The Blues didn’t deserve a point, but Jake got them one.
Either way, Let’s Go Blues. Get ’em next time.