The Chicago Blackhawks' comeback attempt came up short on Monday night as they were defeated by the St. Louis Blues 3-2 and eliminated from the postseason.
Troy Brouwer scored with 11 and a half minutes to go in the third period, and his goal was enough to eliminate his former team and push the Blues into a second round matchup with the Dallas Stars.
After an icing, the Blues kept possession of the puck in the offensive zone, and they ultimately scored. Duncan Keith also had a turnover during the sequence, and a Jay Bouwmeester shot toward the net was deflected home by Jori Lehtera to give St. Louis a 1-0 advantage.
The Blackhawks' offense got off to a sluggish start, and St. Louis continued to hammer away at Corey Crawford. Patrik Berglund was denied on a breakaway attempt a few minutes after the Lehtera goal, and Alex Steen was robbed of an opportunity thanks to a quick Brent Seabrook stick. Finally, Scottie Upshall rang a shot loudly off the post as the Blues continued to press.
Finally, the Blues scored the key second goal and extended their lead. Colton Parayko did the honors, taking advantage of a screen in front of Crawford as he blasted a slapshot home to put St. Louis ahead 2-0.
Slowly but surely, the Blackhawks began to generate opportunities, and they scored with about a minute and a half to go in the first period. Marian Hossa collected the puck and entered the offensive zone with speed, and wristed a shot over Brian Elliott's glove to make it a 2-1 game after 20 minutes of action.
Early in the second period, the Hawks got a power play after a Kevin Shattenkirk penalty, and they scored in short order. Andrew Shaw attempted a feed across the ice, but Bouwmeester accidentally deflected the puck through Elliott's pads and in to knot things up at 2-2.
At the end of the frame, the Blues absolutely peppered the Blackhawks with shots, but nothing would go through. Crawford came out of the top of his crease to rob Vladimir Tarasenko with a glove save, and then Brent Seabrook stopped two straight shots, including a Steen blast with an open net, and helped keep the game tied with one period to go.
After a tentative start for both teams, it took a bad turnover to turn the tide, and the Blues were the ones that benefitted. An Erik Gustafsson giveaway in the neutral zone led to a quick-fire Blues possession, and ultimately Troy Brouwer popped home a loose puck in front of the net to give the Blues a 3-2 lead.
The Blackhawks had their fair share of chances to tie the game up, but the best one was also the most agonizing. Seabrook hammered a shot from the point that hit traffic in front and then hit both posts, improbably staying out of the net and leaving the Blues in front.
Ultimately, the Blackhawks were unable to score, and their season came to an end as the Blues celebrated advancing out of the first round for the first time in four years.
St. Louis will next take the ice later this week when they head to Dallas to take on the Stars in the second round of the postseason.