The Blackhawks go for their fifth straight win as they take on the St. Louis Blues. The Hawks had a rough start this season but have turned things around and won the last four in a row. The Blackhawks face the Blues for the second time this week.
By MATT BECKER
(AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have found themselves in a number of tough games over the past week, and have displayed the poise of a champion.
The St. Louis Blues have already witnessed their resiliency.
The Blackhawks seek a fifth straight win Friday night as they try to defeat the host Blues for the second time in five days.
After winning the Stanley Cup in June, Chicago (5-2-1) knew it would have a target on its back all season. The Blackhawks got off to a slow start, losing three of their first four, before bouncing back with their current winning streak.
The run started with a 5-2 victory over Columbus last Friday, but the last three wins have all been by one goal with Chicago needing to rally and then withstand late charges.
In a 2-1 shootout victory over Vancouver on Wednesday, the Canucks tied the score on Daniel Sedin’s goal one minute into the third period. Vancouver kept the pressure on, outshooting the Blackhawks 18-8 in the third period and overtime, but couldn’t get another goal past Marty Turco.
Chicago went to its first shootout and Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane scored.
“Once again another close game,” Kane said. “That’s the way it’s probably going to be all season for us, especially after winning last year, teams are going to be ready to play.”
The Blackhawks have outscored opponents 6-2 in the third period and overtime in the past three contests.
“We grind until the end,” said forward Marian Hossa, who leads Chicago with seven goals and 11 points.
Things weren’t looking good for the Blackhawks against the Blues on Monday, trailing 2-0 with less than 7 minutes remaining in the third, but Hossa scored goals 2:31 apart to send the game to overtime. Sharp recorded his sixth goal at 3:50 of the extra period to give Chicago a 3-2 victory and hand St. Louis a third straight defeat – all on the road.
“There’s always details you can do better,” said Blues left wing David Perron, who scored his first two goals of the season Monday. “It’s a question of bouncing back the next time we play them.”
St. Louis (2-1-2), which hasn’t played since, is looking to bounce back at the Scottrade Center. The Blues have outscored opponents 7-2 at home in winning two games.
Jaroslav Halak, acquired from Montreal in June, has stopped 42 of 44 shots at home.
Halak was on the verge of his first shutout with the Blues before Hossa broke through with 6:48 left. There was little Halak could do about Hossa’s second goal, as the big right wing muscled into the crease during a scrum and backhanded the puck through his own legs and the legs of T.J. Oshie. Halak finished with 30 saves.
Turco stopped 32 shots Monday and turned aside 36 against Vancouver. He has been in net for every game of the winning streak, posting a 1.93 goals-against average.
Updated October 21, 2010