The Chicago Blackhawks had plenty of opportunities to knock off the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night, but thanks to power play failures and two short-handed goals by the home side, the Hawks lost a 5-2 decision in their final preseason road game.
Dennis Rasmussen and Brandon Mashinter scored goals in the game for the Blackhawks, but it wasn’t enough as their defense was torn asunder by an aggressive Blues counter-attack throughout the contest.
The game started out with a flurry of goals, and St. Louis got things started early on. Viktor Svedberg made a bad pinch at the blue line to allow Dmitrij Jaskin to get into the offensive zone, and he did the rest as he ripped a shot past Scott Darling to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.
Just 14 seconds later, the Blackhawks scored a goal of their own to tie things up. Marko Dano got hammered along the boards in the offensive zone, but he was able to slide a pass over to Rasmussen. The forward’s initial shot was stopped by Jake Allen, but he grabbed his own rebound and scored to make it a 1-1 game.
A short time later, the Blackhawks scored again to seize the lead. Viktor Tikhonov cycled the puck in deep to get the play started, and when Vincent Hinostroza pushed a pass back out to the slot, Mashinter was there to fire it past Allen to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.
The Blues got a power play a few minutes later, and they took advantage to tie things up. Jori Lethara fired a shot toward the net that skipped through traffic, and when it landed at the feet of Troy Brouwer in front of the blue paint, he didn’t miss as he flipped a shot past Darling to knot the game at 2-2.
With about three minutes to go in the first period, the Blues scored their second power play goal of the contest to take the lead back. Jaden Schwartz made the play happen as he carried the puck through the offensive zone and drew traffic away from Kevin Shattenkirk. The defenseman took a pass from Schwartz in the slot, and when he pinched in he fired a shot on net and scored to give the Blues a 3-2 lead after the first period of play.
Early in the second period, the Blues scored yet again to give themselves a solid cushion. After Schwartz broke up a cross-ice pass on a Blackhawks’ power play, he flew up the ice and dished a pass off to Lethara on a 2-on-1 rush. The winger fired a shot past Darling off a one-timer, and in the blink of an eye it was 4-2.
The Blackhawks got a slew of chances throughout the rest of the second period, but they were unable to convert. In fact, they got three power play opportunities in the first eight minutes of the frame, but they failed to score and the Blues continued to lead after two periods of play.
The Blues managed to score an insurance goal in the third period as Kyle Brodziak added a short-handed tally, and the Hawks were unable to answer as they lost for the second time in the preseason slate.
The Hawks will finish up their preseason schedule on Saturday night when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the United Center.