ST. LOUIS – Chris Mason wouldn’t say he has the Chicago Blackhawks’ number.
Judging by the last two games, it would be a hard issue to argue. Mason stopped 22 shots to shut out the Blackhawks for the second straight meeting, and Brad Boyes scored early in the third period in Blues’ 1-0 win Friday night.
“We’ve definitely played two great games against them as a team,” said Mason, who also shut out the Blackhawks 2-0 on Jan. 21. “They’re a good team, so I wouldn’t go saying (I have their number) yet.”
The Blues won after dropped a pair of games this week against Vancouver and Nashville where they held 2-0 and 3-1 leads in both games.
“I’m happy for the players,” Blues coach Andy Murray said. “That was a pretty emotional game. There was a lot of energy. What we went through this week and to have the energy to play like we did tonight against a team that was practising at our rink (Thursday) afternoon and having lots of fun and having dinner while we were fighting a battle in Nashville (Thursday) night, to find a way to win it, we found a way.”
Boyes scored on a 4-on-3 power play, converting a one-timer from the left circle 57 seconds into the third period. Chicago’s Adam Burish was in the box for a slashing penalty at the end of the second period after offsetting roughing penalties on the Blues’ Barret Jackman and the Blackhawks’ Colin Fraser.
“They were able to get the puck through the box, and Boyes was just teeing off,” Hawks goalie Cristobal Huet said. “I didn’t see him.”
McDonald’s cross-ice feed to Boyes into the left circle led to the shot that Cristobal Huet seemed to get a piece, but still found its way into the net.
“We got the goal when we needed it,” Boyes said of his team-leading 25th of the season. “(Mason) again stood on his head. We need to keep going. We just have got to build off games like this.”
The Blackhawks wrapped up an eight-game trip with the loss.
“Tonight, we didn’t have enough players,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “It was tough to watch. But we still had a chance to tie it at the end. We’ve got to be better than that in all areas.”
The first period between the Central Division rivals was pretty quiet, with the Blues having the best scoring chance. But Huet made a glove save on Boyes with 7:27 to play in the period after the Chicago gave the puck up in its own zone.
Chicago also had a chance 11:19 left in the second, but Andrew Ladd’s backhander hit the right post, and Mason denied him with a glove save on the rebound.
The Blues, who lost a game in a shootout Thursday in Nashville after giving up the lead with three seconds remaining, fended off Chicago by killing off two power plays in the final five minutes.
Notes: The Blackhawks went 5-3 on the longest trip of the season by an NHL club. Chicago returns home Saturday night for a game against Dallas, its first home game since losing to the Blues on Jan. 21. … The Blues improved to 4-0-1 against the Blackhawks this season.