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Blues stun Blackhawks in OT again

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- Barret Jackman let the eruption of 19,639 paint the picture. The only responsibility the St. Louis Blues' defenseman had was firing the puck towards the goal.

When the puck squirted through the pads of Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, it put the defending Stanley Cup champions on the ropes.

Jackman's goal 5:50 into overtime gave the Blues a 4-3 victory against the Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series Saturday afternoon at Scottrade Center.

Jackman's shot from the top of the left circle found its way through Crawford's pads with Maxim Lapierre in front setting a screen. It gave the Blues a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, with Game 3 set for Chicago's United Center on Monday night (8:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, RDSI, FS-MW, CSN-CH).

"I think I still had my eyes closed by the time I got mobbed," said Jackman, who also scored a game-winning goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings last season. "The eruption of the building said it all. It's a pretty neat feeling."

Crawford said: "It was a little bit of a screen but it went straight through. I had my pads together but there was a little space there and it just kind of squeezed through."

Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko tied the game with 6.4 seconds remaining when his power-play wrister from just inside the top of the right circle zipped through a screen and past Crawford. It came with the Blues skating 6-on-4 after pulling goaltender Ryan Miller with 1:46 remaining and with Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook ejected after being assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a hit on Blues forward David Backes at 15:09.

Backes did not return to the game

"How do you think he is? Not great," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We'll let the League deal with it."

The Blues were determined to answer the play on the ice.

"We got a five-minute power play and 5-on-3," defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. "It certainly changed momentum the last five minutes of the game.

"You never want to see Dave go down like that; he's an important player the way he works on and off the ice. We thought the best revenge at that point would be to get the puck and score. That's what we did."

Added left wing Chris Porter, who scored his second career playoff goal: "As soon as that hit happened, we're like, 'We're winning this for him.' In these five minutes, we're going to score, we're going to win it whether it's in regulation or in overtime."

Seabrook, who scored in the third period to tie the game 2-2, said: "I was just trying to make a play on Backes. I thought the puck was there, I was on [Alexander] Steen, I was just coming down the wall and I just tried to finish my hit."

The Blues, who were 1-for-9 on the power play, converted when Pietrangelo found Tarasenko, who snapped a wrister into the net.

"I didn't know how many seconds left," Tarasenko said. "I just tried to be open for 'Petro.' I know I will wrist it as quick as I can, probably low glove shot. Our whole team worked all game. If you work hard and trust your team, trust your coaches, you will come back."

Pietrangelo said it was hard not to spot his teammate.

"I heard him scream. I didn't know if it was English or Russian or what it was," Pietrangelo joked. "I knew he wanted the puck.

"Kid can shoot the puck. He's an offensive player ... it's good to see him back."

The Blues got first-period goals from Porter and Kevin Shattenkirk, who also had two assists. Miller stopped 25 shots.

Seabrook and fellow defenseman Michal Rozsival scored third-period goals, Duncan Keith also scored for the Blackhawks, who have gotten five of six goals in the series from their defensemen. Crawford finished with 27 saves.

Chicago trailed 2-0 before Keith's goal at 17:25 of the second period. Seabrook tied the game 4:53 into the third period when his one-timer from the top of the right circle caromed off Porter's stick and beat Miller high to the short side.

Rozsival gave Chicago its first lead 1:45 later when his shot from the right point deflected off Backes and past Miller.

At that point, the Blackhawks were feeling like they could get the series back to Chicago tied 1-1. It was not meant to be.

"The other game was tough; it was tough losing with a buck and change," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said in reference to the Blues tying Game 1 with 1:45 remaining. "But tonight was brutal.

"Did a great job killing, outstanding job, and you're right there, six seconds away."

Chicago finally snapped Miller's shutout streak going back to Game 1 at 119:27 on Keith's point shot that got through a screen with 2:35 left in the second to cut the Blues' lead to 2-1. After Miller allowed three goals on the first seven shots faced in Game 1, he stopped 53 straight shots until Keith solved him.

The Blues were buzzing in the first period, even though the Blackhawks had three opportunities on the power play but failed to convert on any of them.

The Blues' fourth line struck first in Game 2, just as it did in the series opener. Porter, who had just stepped onto the ice for a shift, picked up Jordan Leopold's shot, which was blocked by Seabrook. He stepped into a slap shot and beat Crawford high to the short side 7:08 into the first period for a 1-0 lead. Porter was a ninth-round pick of the Blackhawks in the 2003 NHL Draft.

"It was a big goal at that time of the game," Porter said. "It felt nice to get the monkey off my back.

"I feel I've had some good chances as of late, but I'm just glad to find the back of the net and contribute any way I can."

Chicago's power play had plenty of opportunities, but the Blues' penalty kill, after allowing a power-play goal on the first attempt in the series, clamped down on all three first-period attempts.

At the end of the first, the Blues were buzzing around Chicago's goal, and Shattenkirk's blast from inside the blue line beat Crawford with 1.8 seconds left after a scramble in front in which the Chicago goalie made a great glove save on Jaden Schwartz with 6.2 seconds left. But Schwartz regained the puck below the goal line after being stopped and got it back to the point. With time running out, Shattenkirk wound up and beat Crawford, who was scrambling to get back into position.

Earlier in the period, Shattenkirk rang a shot off the post. Alexander Steen in the second period was given a breakaway and fired a shot off the crossbar with 14:20 left.

The Blues had their turns on the power play early in the second period, including a 27-second stretch of 5-on-3. They also failed to convert on three power plays in the period.

But after their captain left the game, the Blues remained composed and go to Chicago in good shape with a chance to take a commanding lead in the series Monday.

"I think [we had to] calm down and start to play again," Hitchcock said. "I thought we played our best hockey in the first period and then we played great in the overtime. I thought the overtime we were outstanding. We needed to just calm down and start playing again."

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