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game recap

Vladimir Tarasenko lifts Blues to Winter Classic win

Forward scores twice in third period against Blackhawks

by Shawn P. Roarke @SRoarke_NHL / NHL.com Director of Editorial

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues waited to get started, but eventually delivered a signature performance in their first outdoor game at the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Busch Stadium.

Right wing Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals 1:53 apart in the third period, including the game-winner, to help the Blues to a 4-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

Tarasenko's goals broke a 1-1 tie and helped send the 46,556 fans home happy.

 

WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Blues highlights

 

Patrik Berglund scored in the second period for the Blues (20-13-5) and Alexander Steen scored an empty-net goal with 1:14 remaining. Jake Allen made 22 saves.

"I don't know about [my teammates], but it's probably the coolest thing I've been a part of," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said.

The threat of rain delaying the game was omnipresent, but aside from a few sprinkles, precipitation never proved to be a problem.

The game started on time and finished in two hours and 27 minutes. The rain that did fall couldn't dampen the party; fans roared from the anthem past the buzzer. The temperature at opening faceoff was 46.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

"All things considered, we lucked out with the weather," Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "The ice was a little bumpy and it was a little slow. But really, for us, it was fine. That's something we just adjust to and we simplified our game and I think that's why we were so effective out there tonight. Especially after all the warnings and what we thought was coming, we were pretty lucky to be able to get that game in."

Tarasenko's first goal, the game-winner at 12:05 of the third period, was a pass attempt to Jori Lehtera that banked off Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson's skate and into the net.

Video: CHI@STL: Tarasenko banks puck off skate and in

Michal Kempny scored for the Blackhawks (23-12-5). Corey Crawford made 31 saves.

Chicago is 1-4-0 in its five outdoor games.

"I thought we came out pretty good today and [had] a decent second [period]," Hjalmarsson said. "We kind of got away from our game plan a little bit, and I scored a goal in our own net and they got up 2-1. I thought overall we played a good game, except for the last 10 minutes there."

 

Goal of the game

Tarasenko's second goal was a goal-scorer's goal. Lehtera hit Tarasenko with a pass, but it was a bit late and Tarasenko kicked it from his skate to his stick as he reached the faceoff circle. He then settled the puck down and beat Crawford with a wrist shot to the far side before sliding defenseman Brent Seabrook could block the shot. "The second one, my linemates just created a good chance for me and it's really important win for us," Tarasenko said. "It's not about my goals. We have a great team, we have a great captain and a great goalie and we really needed those two points, especially against Chicago." 

Video: CHI@STL: Tarasenko wrists home a quick second tally

 

Save of the game

Crawford denied Tarasenko a potential goal at 2:10 of the third period, parrying the right wing while he broke in alone after a perfect head-man pass by Shattenkirk. Tarasenko tried to go short-side, but Crawford turned the puck away with his blocker.

Video: CHI@STL: Crawford turns aside Tarasenko on the break

 

Unsung performance of the game

Blues left wing David Perron did not get a point, but he was noticeable on virtually each shift. Perron played 18:53 and had four shots on goal and eight total shot attempts. He also had seven hits and one blocked shot.

 

Highlight of the game

One of Allen's best saves came at 10:15 of the third period when he denied Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews from the left side of the net. Toews took a waist-high puck and tried to bat it in, but Allen chested it away. He then caught the rebound like a pop-up.

Video: CHI@STL: Allen stones batted puck, grabs floater

 

They said it

"I was proud of our group. I was proud of our game. It's easy to get distracted in events like this, especially when it's your first one, and our group played really well. I thought our passing game and the way that we supported each other throughout the game was as good as it's been all year." -- Blues left wing Alexander Steen

 

"He played great. I thought he handled the puck around the net well. There was a lot of unpredictability with the new boards and glass and different background. I thought he did great job around the net and handled the puck and moved it. And those things happen; he did what he had to did and we got a bounce, fortunate bounce in our first goal too, but things … he did everything he could to get us a point or two." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on goalie Corey Crawford

 

Need to know

Home teams were 2-6 in the first eight Winter Classic games. … Steen's assist on the tying goal by Berglund gave him 300 assists and 500 NHL points. … Kempny's goal at 1:02 into the first period was the second-fastest goal to start a Winter Classic; Colby Armstrong of the Pittsburgh Penguins scored 21 seconds into the 2008 Winter Classic against the Buffalo Sabres.

 

What's next

Blackhawks: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CSN-CH, NHL.TV)

Blues: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Tarasenko pots two as Blues win Winter Classic, 4-1

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