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Instant analysis: Blackhawks vs. Blues, Game 4

Tarasenko unstoppable; St. Louis pushes Chicago to brink of elimination

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Despite going down by a goal in the second period, the St. Louis Blues rallied for a 4-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Tuesday. The Blues are one win away from taking the best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series. Game 5 is Thursday in St. Louis.

What we learned: Vladimir Tarasenko is unstoppable. Tarasenko, who scored two goals, has 13 goals in 17 NHL playoff games. He scored his first on a bullet from just beyond the right faceoff dot at 14:02 of the first period. He got his second at 17:31 of the second on the power play, tying the game 2-2. Tarasenko has three goals in the first four games of the series.

Video: STL@CHI, Gm4: Tarasenko notches game-tying goal

What this means for Blues: The Blues called this game a "must win" on Tuesday morning, and they went out and won it, taking a 3-1 series lead home with them to St. Louis. They can wrap up the series at Scottrade Center, where they split Games 1 and 2.

What this means for Blackhawks: The loss puts the defending Stanley Cup champions on the brink of elimination. Chicago has been undone by its penalty kill in the past two games, with four power-play goals against in two losses.

Key moment:  It looked like the Blackhawks were going to start the scoring at 7:31 of the first period. But the puck, which hopped past Blues goalie Brian Elliott's right skate and just inside the left post, never actually crossed the goal line before Elliott reached back and gloved it. The goal would have gone to Artem Anisimov. Instead, the game remained scoreless. Later in the period, Tarasenko scored the first goal.

Video: STL@CHI, Gm4: Keith gives Blackhawks their first lead

Unsung player of the game: Duncan Keith. The Chicago defenseman kept the Blackhawks afloat with two goals on Tuesday, one that gave them the lead in the second period, and one that closed the gap to one goal in the third period.

What's next: The teams head back to Scottrade Center for an elimination Game 5 on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET: NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, CSN-CH, FS-MW). The game could mark both the end of Chicago's bid for two straight titles and a new beginning for the Blues, who would make it out of the first round for the first time since 2012.

 

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