CHICAGO - The St. Louis Blues will have another chance to eliminate the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in the first round when the puck drops on Game 6 tonight at 7 p.m. at United Center (NBC, Y98 FM).
The Blues have already won both of the road games in this series, so why not one more?
“It’s going to be a tough place to win, but we won the last ones,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “Just more of the same.”
"We've played well there, we've got confidence," forward Scottie Upshall said. "We feel like we've been playing great hockey. Both teams have. I think the edge will stay with us knowing we can go into that building and take points. Our guys felt fresh (Friday) waking up with a new day and getting prepared for (tonight) is our main focus. That building's a fun building to play in. It's great when you can go in there and steal games.
“The biggest game of our season lies ahead. Game 6 is going to be fun."
Dating back to the regular season, the Blues have won three straight games at United Center. In the five games of this opening round series, the road team has won four times. League-wide, the visiting team has won 23 of the 38 postseason games so far.
Combine that with the fact that the Blues have shown some tremendous resilience in this series and that should give fans in St. Louis some confidence heading into tonight’s game.
“They know we’re a different team. We all know and believe we’re a different team than we have been in the past,” Blues forward Steve Ott said. “The team you’ve seen throughout these games, you’re going to see it the rest of the way.”
“We feel like we’re playing well, we’re on top of our game,” Upshall added. “We have another opportunity to close it out, and that’s a great position to be in. We feel like that’s right where we want to be.”
FABBRI’S BIG GAME
Blues rookie Robby Fabbri scored his first career playoff goal and also assisted on David Backes’ tying goal in Game 5 to help the Blues erase a two-goal deficit in the third period.
Fabbri became the first Blues rookie to have multiple points in a home playoff games since Jochen Hecht did it in 2000 against San Jose.
It's those types of performances that can really lift a team to another level in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“He’s a big game player. He stepped up (in Game 5) and makes two big plays that changed the game. We’re looking for him to continue that,” Upshall said of Fabbri. “He’s been great for us all year, and it’s nice to have his game step up at such a key time. For him to be able to do that for us, being so young and not much playoff experience, it’s huge. We’re hoping he builds on that.”
Through five playoff games, Fabbri has one goal and three assists.
"So many young players aren’t afraid of the moment anymore," Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. "You think this is going to be overwhelming for these guys and it’s exactly the opposite. They love it."
Hitchcock held an optional skate this morning, saying some people were held out to conserve energy and pour everything into tonight.
While we'd expect the lineup to remain the same, if this blog was on paper, we'd write it in pencil.
Jaden Schwartz - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexander Steen - Paul Stastny - Troy Brouwer
Robby Fabbri - Patrik Berglund - David Backes
Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Steve Ott
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Kevin Shattenkirk - Colton Parayko
Carl Gunnarsson - Robert Bortuzzo
Alex Pietrangelo recorded a playoff career-high with three assists in Game 5.
Jaden Schwartz has a three-game goal streak and is the first Blue to score in three straight playoff games since Andy McDonald scored four straight in 2012.
Game 5 was the 11th overtime playoff game between the Blues and Blackhawks. The Blues are 7-4 in those games and have a 3-1 mark in multiple overtime games.
Ballpark Village and HotShots St. Peters (6632 Mexico Road) are the official Blues Bash locations for tonight. Enjoy Game 6 with other diehard Blues fans while having a chance to win prizes and take advantage of food and drink specials. Go to stlouisblues.com/playoffs to learn more about Blues Bashes.