CHICAGO – It took three extra rounds in a shootout, but the St. Louis Blues got their first win at United Center in more than three years.
The Blues (19-14-2) were poised to finish off a big road win in regulation after scoring twice early in the third and stealing momentum from the Blackhawks (27-5-4). But Viktor Stalberg's goal with 4:31 remaining in regulation assured the Blackhawks of at least a point.
After a scoreless overtime, the Blackhawks took the lead in the shootout three times, only to have the Blues answer each one. But Brian Elliott denied Michal Handzus to start the sixth round, and Shattenkirk snapped a short shot past Crawford for the win, the first for the Blues in Chicago since Feb. 3, 2010.
The rest of the game was just as entertaining.
Adam Cracknell, who hadn't scored a goal in the National Hockey League since Dec. 26, 2011 -- a span of 463 days -- had two goals for the Blues. St. Louis captain David Backes scored 7:06 into the third period to give his team a 3-2 lead -- and break a personal 14-game goal drought.
Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad scored the other goals in regulation for Chicago, which had several good chances to end it in the last few minutes of regulation – only to be stopped by Brian Elliott (33 saves) on each one.
St. Louis came into the game 0-4-4 in its last eight trips to this building.
Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, playing his first game with St. Louis after being dealt to the Blues from Calgary on Monday night, finished with two shots on goal and got the primary assist on Backes' goal in a third period that was filled with end-to-end action.
The first two periods also kept fans on the edge of their seats.
If it weren't for some outstanding goaltending by Elliott and a couple of misfired pucks, the Blackhawks might have led by multiple goals after one period. Instead, Cracknell's first goal of the season with 3:57 left in the period gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.
Elliott made great stops against Chicago's two biggest stars – Patrick Kane and Toews – early in the game and also got some good luck with missed shots on great scoring chances by Toews and Marcus Kruger.
Chicago dominated the second period, getting goals by Toews and Saad to take a 2-1 lead into the third. Toews put back a rebound of Kane's shot from the left circle to tie it 1-1 at 3:18 and give him 18 goals on the season.
He then stole a puck from Alexander Steen along the half wall 2:27 later and fed a perfect pass to Saad in front of the crease for a redirected shot past Elliott. It was Saad's third goal in as many games and eighth of the season.
A fracas in the last minute of the second resulted in the Blackhawks getting a power play that extended into the third period, but they couldn't score. Not long afterward, the Blues recaptured momentum and tied the game on Cracknell's breakaway goal at 3:30 of the third.
Backes then gave the Blues the lead by tapping in the rebound of Bouwmeester's point shot. It was just the fourth of the season for the St. Louis captain.
Stalberg, however, hopped on a loose puck in the slot after Michal Rozsival's shot was blocked and fired a wrister past Elliott to tie it and force OT.
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