CHICAGO (AP) — Jaden Schwartz scored at 13:32 of the third period with Patrick Kane in the penalty box for high-sticking, and the St. Louis Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2, on Sunday for a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Patrik Berglund also scored in the third as St. Louis rallied for the win after a difficult 3-2 loss in Game 2 that included two key coach’s challenges that went against the Blues. Brian Elliott made 44 saves, keeping St. Louis in the game during Chicago’s strong second period.
Kane, the NHL’s leading scorer this season and one of the favorites for league MVP, got four minutes for a high stick on defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, and St. Louis made the most of the chance to go in front.
Vladimir Tarasenko passed down low to David Backes, who sent it right to Schwartz in the slot. He beat Crawford low on the glove side for his third career playoff goal and a 3-2 lead with 6:38 left.
The Blackhawks pulled Corey Crawford for an extra attacker with 1:10 remaining, but Elliott and the Blues held on. Game 4 is Tuesday night in Chicago.
Brent Seabrook and Artem Anisimov scored for the Blackhawks, who dropped to 28-7 in home playoff games since the 2013 postseason. It was their first home playoff game since they hoisted the Stanley Cup at the United Center last June.
Anisimov’s fluttering shot past Elliott at 1:04 of the second put Chicago in front, and Crawford’s stellar play helped preserve the 2-1 lead for a while.
First, Crawford stuffed Carl Gunnarsson on a nice look in front. Then Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival had an ugly turnover and Crawford made an outstanding glove save on Jori Lehtera at 5:31.
The sellout crowd of 22,207 responded with cheers of “Co-rey! Co-rey!” and then resumed the chants after the goaltender turned away Lehtera again and Tarasenko on a couple more prime opportunities. He finished with 33 saves.
Elliott had his own series of impressive stops on a Blackhawks power play in the second. He also caught a break when Andrew Ladd’s shot bounced off the left post and then the right one with about 6:20 to go.
Berglund tied it at 5:15 of the third when his shot from the middle of the ice went off the inside of Rozsival’s right leg and then skipped over Crawford’s glove.
The pace of play only picked up after the teams exchanged power-play goals in the first, with Brent Seabrook scoring for Chicago and Colton Parayko responding for St. Louis. The Blackhawks outshot the Blues 24-13 in the second.
NOTES: Blues C Steve Ott replaced Ryan Reaves in the lineup for his first game since Dec. 5. Ott had hamstring surgery and then was diagnosed with colitis. … Blackhawks F Dale Weise, who was acquired in a Feb. 26 trade with Montreal, got into the lineup for the first time in the series. F Richard Panik also was active, while Fs Andrew Desjardins and Brandon Mashinter were on the scratch list.
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