The Chicago Blackhawks needed to win on Tuesday night to tie up their series, but instead they now find themselves in a deep hole as they lost Game 4 by a score of 4-3.
Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen scored third period goals for the St. Louis Blues, who are now one win away from breaking a streak of three consecutive first round exits from the postseason.
The Blackhawks got off to an excellent start in the first period, holding the Blues without a shot through the first six minutes, but that momentum didn’t translate into any goals for the home team. Michal Rozsival had a solid chance off a shot from the point, and Teuvo Teravainen created some chances as he shifted to wing, but Brian Elliott and the Blues kept the game scoreless.
With about six minutes to go in the period, the Blues scored to take the lead. Once again it was Vladimir Tarasenko doing the honors for the Blues, as he received a pass from Jori Lehtera and snapped off a lightning-quick one-timer to beat Corey Crawford and give St. Louis a 1-0 lead.
The Blues continued to press the issue through the end of the first period, but Crawford stood tall and kept things in check. Tarasenko helped Crawford out late in the frame, as he tried to deke one too many times and allowed the goaltender to get in position to rob a shot attempt and keep the Hawks within shouting distance.
The Blackhawks responded with a bit of a push back in the second period, and just after a power play expired nine minutes into the frame, Chicago got on the board and tied the game. Marian Hossa got the puck in the slot and fired a shot toward the net. The puck ultimately bounced off of Andrew Shaw and got past Elliott to knot things up at 1-1.
After Crawford and Robby Fabbri got mixed up in some fisticuffs, the Blackhawks came away with a power play and the lead. A loose puck was missed by both Shaw and Jonathan Toews, but Duncan Keith certainly didn’t miss as he pounded home the rebound and gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 advantage with seven minutes remaining in the second period.
Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they couldn’t keep their advantage for long, and on an Andrew Ladd penalty they gave up the tying goal. Once again it was Tarasenko doing the damage for St. Louis, as he loaded up from the face-off dot and fired a shot past Crawford’s glove to tie things up at 2-2 with 20 minutes to go.
Just one minute into the third period, Keith went to the penalty box on a holding call, and the Blues took quick advantage. The puck found Jaden Schwartz in the offensive zone and he didn’t miss as he gave the Blues a 3-2 lead early in the frame.
Just a few minutes later, the Blues struck again. Trevor van Riemsdyk attempted a cross-ice pass to Michal Rozsival, and after it was intercepted by Alexander Steen the veteran winger wristed a shot home to make it a 4-2 contest.
The Blackhawks refused to die however, and they scored later in the third period to narrow the deficit. Keith ended up with his second goal of the game on the play as it took a crazy bounce and tickled the back of the net to make it a 4-3 game.