Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime, again
St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) is congratulated after scoring a goal with six seconds left in the third period to tie the game against the Chicago Blackhawks in game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center on Apr 19, 2014 in St. Louis, MO, USA. (Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports)
The sequel was as much of a masterpiece for the St. Louis Blues as The Godfather: Part II.
For the Chicago Blackhawks, it was an even worse horror flick than Jaws: The Revenge.
The NHL’s newest lord of discipline, Stephane Quintal, won’t enjoy any popcorn while viewing the scene he’ll be forced to screen.
After Vladimir Tarasenko scored with just 6.4 seconds left in regulation, Barret Jackman’s game winner early in overtime gave the Blues a 4-3 win Saturday afternoon before a raucous standing room-only sellout crowd of 19,639 at the Scottrade Center.
The Blues head to Chicago with a 2-0 lead in their opening-round Stanley Cup playoff series, after using the same script in both games.
“At lest it didn’t last three (overtimes). It was past my bedtime last time,” said Jackman, alluding the marathon triple-overtime series opener.
The series shifts to Chicago for Game 3 on Monday, and rest assured the late third-period hit Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook laid on David Backes will be just as much of a storyline as the defending Stanley Cup champs being down by a pair of games in the best-of-seven series.
Seabrook launched himself into the Blues captain, and his elbow caught Backes flush in the face. Backes, who had lost possession of the puck before the hit, had to be helped to the dressing room and didn’t return for the OT.
The NHL announced late Saturday Seabrook will have a phone hearing, meaning he faces a suspension of up to five games.
“I thought the puck was there, I was on (Alex) Steen, I was just coming down the wall and I just tried to finish my hit,” Seabrook said. “I feel bad seeing a guy like that on the ice. I’ve been there myself. I’m not trying to target his head, I’m not trying to do anything like that. It doesn’t feel good to see a player like that lying there like that and whatnot, and knowing that I hit him. It wasn’t my intent.”
The Blues weren’t happy but stayed clear of a war of words.
“How do you think he is? Not great,” Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock replied when asked about his player’s status. “We’ll let the league deal with it.”
Hitchcock was biting his tongue but pointed out Bryan Bickell sticking out his leg and clipping Vladimir Sobotka was also something the league should investigate.
“I don’t think a lot of people who are hockey fans and seen the way they’ve been calling things should like it,” goalie Ryan Miller said. “I imagine the NHL will have something to say about it. It’s not up for the players to decide, we’ll see what they do with it, but it certainly was not what we want to see.”
Hitchcock’s charges found their revenge the best way possible and took great pride in not returning any favours that would also catch the league’s attention.
“It’s gonna be a long series and we’re gonna get our opportunities, but I think (scoring) hurts the most. That’s a real dagger,” said defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk. “When you’re the guy sitting in the locker room and you see that goal go in, I’ve been on the bad side of it and know how it feels. We have to realize how much that goes further in the series.”
As likely as Seabrook will be suspended, anybody following the series should also expect more of the roller-coaster ride these Central Division squad have provided so far.
Even a 1,000 monkeys with 1,000 typewriters would have trouble coming up with as many twists and turns as the first couple of games have provided.
Chris Porter and Shattenkirk put the hosts up 2-0 by the end of the first period, only to see the Blackhawks cue up a comeback on goals by Duncan Keith, Seabrook and Michal Rozsival and lead 3-2 early in the third period.
Tarasenko’s buzzer beater set the stage for another thrilling winner.
“This feels like some series I was in back in the good old days in Dallas, packed with everything, emotion,” Hitchcock said. “You just gotta ride it out. It’s kind of fun to be honest with you, in a very sick way, but it’s kind of fun.”
Maybe not fun for the Blackhawks.
“It’s hard to think about what could have been these last two games, but what are you going to do?” captain Jonathan Toews said. “We’ve got a great opportunity to go home and turn this thing around in our own building, and take that momentum and find a way to not let it go.
“We’ve had it late in the last couple games and we gave it up … so it’s not a good feeling. But like we did before tonight, we put the last one behind us and we move on to the next one. It’s as simple as that. That’s all we can do.”