Havlat leads Blackhawks to hard-fought win

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) — The St. Louis Blues had the Chicago
Blackhawks right where they wanted them – or so they thought.

Martin Havlat scored 83 seconds into overtime, lifting the
Blackhawks to a 2-1 victory over the Blues on Saturday.

Troy Brouwer also tallied and Cristobal Huet made 27 saves for
the Blackhawks, who posted their first win in three meetings
with the Blues this season – all of which have gone beyond

“They work hard and have some good players. And they play
physical, so they are always tough to play, especially here,”
Huet said. “It’s a little bit of a rivalry here, and on a
Saturday night in St. Louis, I thought that was a low-scoring,
good game.”

“It was a very intense game,” said Chicago’s Joel Quenneville,
who coached St. Louis from 1996-2004. “It was a goalie win.
Huet was spectacular. He made several miraculous saves. …
They’ve all been very competitive from start to finish, all
three games, where the games have been on the line. We lost a
tough one in here last time, and it was nice to see us get a win
this time.”

David Backes scored and Manny Legace turned aside 19 shots for
St. Louis, which had won two straight at home.

Chicago, which suffered an overtime loss at home to the New York
Rangers on Friday, jumped to a 1-0 lead midway through the first
period of this one.

With Backes in the penalty box for hooking, defenseman Cam
Barker unleashed a rising one-timer from the blue line. On its
way to the net, the puck was tipped in front by Brouwer, who was
credited with his sixth goal of the season with 7:04 remaining
in the opening session.

St. Louis believed it had tied the contest at 3:20 of the second
period, when Alex Steen unleashed a snap shot that Huet appeared
to snag out of mid-air with his glove after it already had
entered the net. But video replay officials were unable to find
conclusive evidence to overturn the non-goal call on the ice,
keeping Chicago ahead.

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“It’s clearly in the net, but the rule does say you have to be
able to see the puck cross the line,” Blues coach Andy Murray
said. “You can’t say the puck was inside his glove. So it’s
logical it’s a goal, but the rule says you have to be able to
see the puck.”

After a scoreless second, the Blues pulled even with a
man-advantage tally of their own. From above the slot, rookie
Patrik Berglund dished the puck to Backes, who beat Huet high to
the glove side with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle
at 3:12.

“Their first goal, I’m sitting in the box for it, so there
definitely was a little feeling that I owed the guys a little
something there, to be able to put one on the board,” Backes

It was the 15th goal of the campaign for Backes, who had set a
career high with 13 in 2007-08.

But the Blackhawks, who already had lost to the Blues in
overtime and a shootout this season, would not be denied.

Defenseman Brent Seabrook unleashed a backhander from the top of
the left circle that was stopped by Legace. Havlat grabbed the
rebound on the left side, skated behind the net and stuffed in
the puck at the right goalpost for his 14th of the campaign.

Afterward, Havlat gave the credit to his teammates rather than
accepting it himself.

“I think it was a great play from Bollie (Dave Bolland), and
especially from Seabs, getting the puck to the net there,” the
Czech said. “I think the goalie made a save before I got the
puck, so that gave me the chance to go around the left and have
a little extra time there.”

However, Backes complimented Havlat for his effort.

“That play where he’s hard in the zone and wraps one tight, you
have to tip your hat to him,” Backes said.

With the triumph, Chicago halted a two-game road slide and
improved to 3-0-1 in its last four games.