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Roman Polak scores go-ahead goal, Blues beat Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks 4-2

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Blues finished off the Chicago Blackhawks, four nights after letting one slip away against the Stanley Cup champions.

Roman Polak broke a third-period tie, and David Perron scored twice to help the Blues beat the Blackhawks 4-2 on Friday night.

Patrik Berglund also scored, T.J. Oshie had two assists and Jaroslav Halak stopped 23 shots as the Blues avenged a 3-2 overtime loss in Chicago on Monday night, a game in which the Blues led 2-0 with under seven minutes to play.

"That's always been a question with us is closing out teams, closing out games," Oshie said. "That killer instinct that I think we have here at home definitely needs to come on the road with us. It's huge. The great teams put away teams in the third period. We've been seeing that lately at home.

Patrik Sharp and Brent Seabrook scored for the Blackhawks. Marty Turco stopped 24 shots in the loss that snapped Chicago's winning streak at four.

"We were a little sloppy," said Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith, who led Chicago in time on ice with 26:49. "I just think we could have played better in a lot of different areas."

Polak's shot from the right circle with 8:59 left in the third appeared harmless, but found its way through Turco, with the Blues' David Backes setting a screen in the crease.

"Just put it on the net," Polak said. "It was a tough puck. It was sticking on the boards so I just wanted to put it on the net. I had my head down and just put it through Turco's pads."

Perron opened the scoring at 6:31 of the first, finishing off Oshie's feed after Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith's giveaway behind the goal.

Sharp tied it with a one-timer from the high slot 13 seconds into a Chicago power play, a shot over Halak's right shoulder 10:13 into the first period.

"It was a great play all around," said Sharp, who has 23 career points against the Blues. "I think everyone touched the puck. ... We know how important special teams are."

Perron, scored his second of the game 6:12 into the second period, converting another pass from Oshie with a backhander past Turco.

"Sometimes you have to work a little bit harder to get into better positions," Perron said. "I thought I did that tonight. ... Sometimes, you just get the right bounces and I did that on the two goals tonight."

The evolution of Perron's game impressed Blues coach Davis Payne.

"He was good tonight. He was very good tonight," Payne said. "It was a statement by him ... We had a conversation this afternoon about what he had accomplished during training camp. Let's not let five games or a two-goal game in Chicago (Monday) cloud the picture.

"He was a difference-maker all 200 feet of the ice and a lot of different situations. He had real good intent to his game."

However for the second time, Chicago got the equalizer when Seabrook's point shot caromed off Oshie's stick and hopped over Halak just as a penalty to the Blues' Erik Johnson expired at 9:35 of the second.

The Hawks were good enough to overtime a one-goal deficit twice but not a third time.

"We've got to play Chicago Blackhawk hockey from the start and when we don't do that, that's when we give up the lead right away," Hawks winger Jack Skille said. "We were playing from behind so we were still pretty positive in here. Nobody got down."

Halak preserved a 2-2 tie with a key stop on Jonathan Toews from the slot early in the third period. Berglund iced the game by scoring with 1:03 to play, a power-play goal from the crease.

NOTES: Perron has four goals this season, all in the last two games. ... Sharp has six goals in the last five games. ... Oshie has at least a point in five straight games. ... IndyCar and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick dropped the ceremonial first puck. ... The Blues honoured Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night by wearing pink laces on their skates. ... The Blues have played the Blackhawks more than any other team. Friday was the 271st meeting between the teams.


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