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Five keys for Blackhawks vs. Blues, Game 4

Chicago, St. Louis striving for increased offense

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues play Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series Tuesday at United Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, FS-MW, CSN-CH). The Blues lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Here are five keys for Game 4. 

1. Scoring, scoring, scoring

The story of the series has been the goaltending, with outstanding performances from the Blues' Brian Elliott and the Blackhawks' Corey Crawford. So it stands to reason that the questions to each coach, though especially Chicago's Joel Quenneville, have been centered around which of the players will figure out their offensive dips.

"[Monday] we were talking about scoring from the top six," Quenneville said. "I'll take scoring from anybody. We're not choosy. We'd like to have more of a four-line rotation and we're still putting offensive pressure on them in their zone. That's something, that group we're looking for a little bit more and maybe that could lead to production. But we're not picky."

So where is the scoring going to come from in Game 4? That is the question.

Video: STL@CHI, Gm3: Parayko scores on blistering slap shot

2. Stay out of the box

The Blues had three penalties within the first six minutes of Game 3. That was pretty much the opposite of the plan coach Ken Hitchcock had laid out, specifying he wanted his team to stay out of the box against the Blackhawks, who finished second in the NHL on the power play at 22.6 percent.

St. Louis has given up two power-play goals in the series, including the first goal scored Sunday in Game 3. Meanwhile, the Blues have given up three 5-on-5 goals.

3. Chicago's big dogs

Neither Patrick Kane nor Jonathan Toews has scored a goal in the series, though they have a combined five points with three assists from Kane and two from Toews. And there certainly have been scoring chances for each, even if neither has cashed in yet.

Still, with scoring at a premium in this series, the Blackhawks need to see the production from their two stars.

"We're going to have to score to win," Quenneville said. "I think that those guys are getting the quality and the quantity. We feel eventually they'll get their turn. They had some great looks, missed some golden opportunities, but again I think we gave up a lot more than we're accustomed to giving up and I think that's one area we have to give our attention to."

4. Is there another level?

There has been a lot of talk about this series being like a Stanley Cup Final, with the quality of teams, the quality of play and the tight nature of all three games to start the series. So with both teams playing that level of hockey, is there anywhere for them to go as the pressure continues to increase with every game?

Video: Keith on playoff experience

"I think as the series has gone along here, there's always another level," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "I think coming into the next game here, we need to get it to another level and just find a way and that's what it's all about."

At this point, though, that might be easier said than done.

"I think it just comes down to finding a way," Keith said. "We can always draw up Xs and Os, draw different plays up. But sometimes it just comes down to how bad you want it and what you're willing to do to get there.

"Obviously we've got a lot of respect for our opponent. It's been a tough series so far. But there's really no other way to put it than just finding a way to get the job done and all it is is one game at a time and just having our best game, best full game, and laying it all on the line next game."

5. Where have you gone, Teuvo Teravainen?

Teuvo Teravainen became the darling of the Stanley Cup Final last year, scoring goals in each of the first two games against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In all, he scored four goals and had six assists in 18 games in the playoffs.

Teravainen, 21, has yet to record a point this series. (Though, in this, he's far from alone on the Blackhawks.)

"I think you always want to play better, especially when you lose games, you want to play better," Teravainen said.

Teravainen has had a rotating group of wings this series, with indications he will play with Tomas Fleischmann and Richard Panik in Game 4. Whoever he's with, Teravainen - who scored 13 goals and had 35 points this season - could be a pivotal figure, if he can find his game again.

Video: STL@CHI: Elliott dives to make an incredible save

"I've just got to be around the puck, fight more for the puck," Teravainen said. "I want the puck too. Just got to be around it."

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