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Blackhawks Even Series, Head Back To St. Louis

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 24, 2014 1:30PM

There truly is no place like home and the Blackhawks reminded themselves of that at the United Center in a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues that tied their Stanley Cup Playoff series at two games each. The series now shifts back to the Scottrade Center in St. Louis for Game 5 Friday night where the Blackhawks can steal home ice away from the Blues with a win.

The two games in Chicago served as a stark contrast to the physical play dictated by the Blues in St. Louis in Games 1 and 2. Chicago didn’t try to match St. Louis hit for hit and played their passing game, which the injury-depleted Blues simply can’t keep up with when it’s firing on all cylinders. After a scoreless first period Andrew Shaw scored the game’s first goal with a power play goal at 8:40 into the second period, a backhander set up with assists from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Kane made the score 2-0 with less than four minutes remaining in the period on a wrister, assisted by Johnny Oduya and Toews. But the Blues roared back in those final minutes and tied the game on a power play goal by Vladimir Tarasenko and a wrist shot by Maxim Lapierre with four seconds remaining in the period.

The two teams then played a tight third period before Tarasenko, who’s been one of the better players on the ice this series, put the Blues ahead 3-2 on a wrist shot at the 12:26 mark, assisted by Alex Pietrangelo.

The Blackhawks didn't panic, however, and tied the game with 3:52 remaining on a tip-in by Bryan Bickell.

The Blues peppered Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford with shots in an attempt to avoid overtime and the two teams skated evenly and cleanly until Kane sent the United Center faithful home happy 11:17 into the overtime period.

Shots on goal were nearly even in Game 4, with the Hawks putting the puck into play 33 times against Blues goalie Ryan Miller; St. Louis had 34 shots on goal. But the two games in Chicago were mostly clean, low penalized affairs and that benefits the defending Stanley Cup champs. Kane was satisfied he and his teammates managed to get untracked at home.

"We kind of have the momentum now," Kane said. "We know it's going to be a tough game in Game 5 in their building. They're going to be fired up and that's always a tough place to play, preseason, regular season or playoffs. So, we'll expect them to get better and we'll get better too."

Game 5 is set for Friday in St. Louis. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.