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Blues go for 3-0-0 start against Blackhawks

by Brian Hunter /

BLACKHAWKS (1-0-1) at BLUES (2-0-0)


Season series: This is the first of five meetings between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. The Blackhawks went 3-1-1 in last season's series, with captain Jonathan Toews scoring three goals to lead the way. Brian Elliott was in net for both of the Blues' victories.

Big story: The second installment this season of NBCSN's Wednesday Night Rivalry features St. Louis going for a third straight win behind a red-hot goalie. In this case it's not Elliott but his partner in the Blues' dynamite goaltending tandem, Jaroslav Halak. He's stopped 47 of 49 shots this season and became the franchise's all-time shutout leader in Saturday's 7-0 rout of the Florida Panthers.

Team Scope:

Blackhawks: This is the first road game of the season for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who if they weren't already aware opponents are gunning for them probably figured it out after a surprising 3-2 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Goals by Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad had Chicago seemingly cruising heading into the third period, but Corey Crawford's bid for a shutout ended midway through as Martin St. Louis scored and then set up the tying goal by Teddy Purcell moments later.

"It's about playing a full 60 minutes, and we might have had a little lull there," forward Ben Smith told The Chicago Sun-Times. "But that's just early in the year. Some things happen, and it's important as long as we learn from it and move forward. Things will be all right."

Blues: Glenn Hall tended goal in more than 900 NHL games, the majority of them with the Blackhawks, but when expansion arrived in 1967 he ended up as one of the original Blues. Hall helped lead St. Louis to three consecutive Stanley Cup Final appearances while recording the final 16 shutouts of the 84 in his career. Halak passed him Saturday by stopping all 19 shots he faced against the Panthers.

Seven players scored a goal for the Blues, with Jaden Schwartz adding a pair of assists for a three-point night.

"It's a special feeling," Halak said of his record, "but it's only the start of the season. We got two wins, I got one shutout, but I wouldn't be able to do it without my teammates … none of them."

Who's hot: Kane and Saad each have goals in consecutive games for the Blackhawks to begin the season. Niklas Hjalmarsson has a team-leading three assists. … Alexander Steen has goals in consecutive games and is one of five Blues with a team-leading three points. Halak has 26 career shutouts, including the nine for the Montreal Canadiens.

Injury report: There are no notable injuries on either Chicago or St. Louis.

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