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Hawks hope to rebound against Blues

by Brian Compton
BLUES (37-33-10) at BLACKHAWKS (42-28-9)

TV: Versus (HD), CSN-Chicago (HD).

Last 10: St. Louis 6-3-1; Chicago 5-4-1.

Season Series: This is the sixth and final meeting between the Central Division rivals. Chicago has won three of the first five showdowns, including a 5-3 victory on Feb. 21 at the Scottrade Center.

Big Story: Roughly 10 months after hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time in 49 years, it appears the Blackhawks' playoff hopes are going to go down right to the wire.

Chicago enters Wednesday's action just two points ahead of both the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames. It's the Stars, though, who the Hawks really need to be concerned with. Dallas, which earned a 3-0 win on home ice against Columbus on Tuesday night, begins a home-and-home series with Colorado on Thursday. The Stars will then travel to Minnesota to face the Wild on Sunday.

Team Scope:

Blues: They may have no hope of making the playoffs, but the Blues are playing well as they head into the offseason. St. Louis is aiming for its third straight win on Wednesday night and has outscored its opponents 9-2 in back-to-back victories. Recently-acquired Kevin Shattenkirk had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win against Colorado on Tuesday.

"I wanted to get out there and prove that I found my niche here," said Shattenkirk, who has two goals and 14 assists with the Blues. "It has been a blast."

Blackhawks: After dropping a 2-0 decision to Tampa Bay on Sunday, the frustration continued for the Blackhawks in Montreal on Tuesday. P.K. Subban denied Chicago of a second point in the standings when he scored a power-play goal 1:19 into overtime as the Habs skated away with a 2-1 victory at the Bell Centre.

"It's more frustrating than heartbreaking," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We worked so hard out there, then you try lifting a guy's stick and it ends up costing you the game.

"In overtime it's 4-on-3, it's a big difference. I was obviously not happy with that. It's frustrating when you're the guy that takes a penalty like that, but what can you do? It's a (bad) break."

Who's Hot: Andy McDonald had a goal and two assists for the Blues on Tuesday night. He has points in six of his last seven games. … Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has 8 points in his last eight contests.

Injury Report: David Perron (concussion) is out for St. Louis. … Chicago is expected to be without Patrick Sharp (knee), Dave Bolland (concussion) and Jordan Hendry (ACL).

Stat Pack: Blues forward David Backes enters Wednesday's action with 30 goals, 30 assists and a plus-30 rating.

Puck Drop: "We've come to expect it from him, he's been awesome all year. He's really playing at the top of his game right now and it's good to see, right before we get to the playoffs." -- Patrick Kane on Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford

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