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game recap

Blackhawks shut down Blues 3-0

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Blackhawks shut down Blues 3-0
St. Louis Blues 0, Chicago Blackhawks 3

The Chicago Blackhawks have discovered the first rule of hockey: You can't lose when the other team doesn't score.

Cristobal Huet stopped 27 shots and Patrick Kane set up all three goals as the Hawks blanked St. Louis 3-0 on Wednesday night for their second consecutive shutout.

The Hawks, who blanked TampaBay 4-0 behind backup Antti Niemi on Sunday, haven't allowed a goal for 141:21, dating to a goal by Buffalo's Clarke MacArthur late in the second period on Friday. The back-to-back shutouts by Huet and Niemi were the first by two Chicago goalies since Tony Esposito and Murray Bannerman did it in March 1983.

The Blackhawks also lowered their NHL-leading team goals-against average to 1.96.

"The way we play, it's tough to play against," Huet said after earning his second shutout of the season and the fifth by Chicago goaltenders. "We expect a lot of games like that. That's how we want to do it."

What the Hawks do better than almost everyone else is control the puck -- as they did against the Blues. Even if the talented Blackhawks don't score, the other team can't do much without the puck.

"It's puck possession," Huet said. "We try to make a play where we keep control of the puck and eventually make a play to the net. The other thing is, we put the puck in the net."

Troy Brouwer, Brian Campbell and Marian Hossa scored for Chicago, and Jonathan Toews had two assists as the Hawks improved their home record to an NHL-best 14-3-1. At 21-8-3, they're off to their best start since going 21-5-6 after 32 games in 1982-83.

"The offense and the defense click," Kane said. "The goaltenders have been good, but it's not just the goaltenders; our team defense has been good, too."

Kane, the Blackhawks' leading points scorer, returned to face the Blues after leaving Sunday's game with a cut above his left eye that required seven stitches.

"Kaner had a great game," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "He had the puck a lot. He made several key, nice plays and not just the ones that showed up on the scoresheet."

Ty Conklin made 32 saves for the Blues, who dropped to 8-3-3 on the road. He stopped breakaways by Kris Versteeg and Andrew Ladd or the score could have been higher.

"They're a good team, no question about it," St. Louis forward David Backes said. "They play fast, they play together and they support the puck. When you play a team like that with the effort they put in, you need to match it up."

The Blackhawks outshot the Blues 21-9 in the first period and led 2-0 after 20 minutes.

Brouwer opened the scoring at 14:33 when his shot from the top of the right circle deflected into the net off St. Louis defenseman Barret Jackman. Campbell made it 2-0 just over three minutes later during a power play on a screened drive from the right point that sailed past Conklin's stick. It was just Chicago's second power-play goal in 22 chances over six games.

Hossa's goal with 3:06 left in the second extended the Blackhawks' lead to 3-0. Left uncovered in the slot when two Blues defensemen drifted to the crease, Hossa took Toews' feed from behind the net and fired a shot in off Conklin's pad.

The rest of the night belonged to Huet, who wasn't severely tested.

"It was a case of not having enough of the guys we need to be good being good tonight," Murray said

The only bad news for Chicago was that defenseman Cam Barker left the game early in the third period with an undisclosed injury.

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
14:33
CHI
Troy Brouwer (8) ASST: Jonathan Toews (11), Patrick Kane (21)
1 - 0 CHI
17:36
CHI
PPG - Brian Campbell (2) ASST: Kris Versteeg (9), Patrick Kane (22)
2 - 0 CHI
2nd Period
16:54
CHI
Marian Hossa (5) ASST: Jonathan Toews (12), Patrick Kane (23)
3 - 0 CHI
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
08:49
STL
Cam Janssen  Roughing against  Ben Eager
08:49
CHI
Ben Eager  Roughing against  Cam Janssen
11:20
STL
David Perron  Interference against  Patrick Kane
15:51
STL
Brad Winchester  Interference against  Brian Campbell
2nd Period
13:40
CHI
Kris Versteeg  Hooking against  Paul Kariya
19:18
CHI
Patrick Kane  Tripping against  Brad Winchester
3rd Period
06:33
STL
Andy McDonald  Slashing against  Jonathan Toews
17:21
STL
B.J. Crombeen  Roughing against  Dustin Byfuglien
17:21
CHI
Dustin Byfuglien  Roughing against  B.J. Crombeen
17:21
STL
Brad Winchester  Roughing against  Dustin Byfuglien
19:40
STL
B.J. Crombeen  Roughing against  Brent Sopel
19:40
CHI
Brent Sopel  Roughing against  Cam Janssen
19:40
CHI
Ben Eager  Misconduct (10 min) against  Barret Jackman
19:40
CHI
Ben Eager  Roughing against  Barret Jackman
19:40
CHI
Ben Eager  Roughing against  Barret Jackman
19:40
STL
Barret Jackman  Misconduct (10 min) against  Ben Eager
19:40
STL
Barret Jackman  Roughing against  Ben Eager
19:40
STL
Cam Janssen  Misconduct (10 min) against  Brent Sopel
19:40
STL
Cam Janssen  Roughing against  Brent Sopel
goalie stats
Ty Conklin
SA: 35TOI: 60:00
Saves: 32EV: 26 - 28
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .914SH: 0 - 0
Cristobal Huet
SA: 27TOI: 60:00
Saves: 27EV: 24 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: 1.000SH: 1 - 1