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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.

"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.



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