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Instant analysis: Blackhawks vs. Blues, Game 3

St. Louis shows maturity, poise in taking 2-1 series lead on Chicago

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin

CHICAGO -- The St. Louis Blues were not happy with the outcome of Game 2 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks. They are much happier now, having won Game 3 at United Center on Sunday 3-2. That puts the Blues up 2-1 in the best-of-7 series.

What we learned: The Blues will not be undone. Even though two calls went against them in the third period of Game 2, and even though the Blackhawks went up quickly on a power-play goal at 2:18 of the first period in Game 3, the Blues did not fold. St. Louis kept the pressure on the home team through the second and third, and came back to tie it 2-2 at 5:15 of the third before getting the winning goal at 13:22 on the power play. This version of the Blues is not going to be cowed by the Blackhawks.

Video: STL@CHI, Gm3: Blues take lead with tic-tac-toe goal

What this means for Blues: All good things. St. Louis managed to wrest home-ice advantage back from Chicago after it had been taken away from them Friday. This is a more mature team than the Blues had two seasons ago, when they lost four straight to the Blackhawks after winning the first two games of their first-round series.

What this means for Blackhawks: The pressure is now on Chicago to take a game at home and send the series back to St. Louis tied. That's a first for the Blackhawks in this series; so far the pressure has mostly been on the Blues.

Key moment: With 5:59 left in the second period, Andrew Ladd hit each goal post on a shot attempt. It was almost baffling that the puck didn't go in, with the crowd reacting accordingly, thinking that he had scored. But Ladd hadn't, and the crowd sat back down with the Blackhawks still leading by one goal. That set things up for Patrik Berglund's game-tying goal in the third period.

Video: STL@CHI, Gm3: Ladd draws iron twice on one shot

Unsung player of the game: At 1:02 of the second period, Artemi Panarin lined up against Paul Stastny for a faceoff in the Blackhawks offensive zone after Artem Anisimov was kicked out after the first attempt. It was Panarin's first NHL faceoff. He lost it, with the puck flipping up and being corralled by Colton Parayko. But Panarin won the ensuing battle against Parayko along the boards, forcing the turnover and getting the puck to Anisimov in front of the net. Anisimov scored on the strangely fluttering shot, beating Brian Elliott for the Blackhawks' second goal.

What's next: This was an important game for the Blues to win. But it doesn't decide anything, with more one-goal games likely ahead. Game 4 is at United Center on Tuesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, FS-MW, CSN-CH).

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