|Date of game: 3/19/2014
Recap: Chicago vs. St. Louis
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Corey Crawford stopped 23 shots to post his second shutout of the season, and four different players lit the lamp as the Chicago Blackhawks shut down the St. Louis Blues by a 4-0 count at United Center.
"Tonight we knew it was going to be a tough matchup," Crawford said. "It seems like it's always physical against these guys. The first 10 minutes, everyone was just running around trying to hit somebody to trying to avoid a hit. It felt like a playoff game, a playoff-type atmosphere. Our crowd was into it and we played really solidly."
Duncan Keith, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw and Ben Smith tallied for the Blackhawks, who rallied from a late overtime loss in Philadelphia on Tuesday to post their second win in three outings and move into second place in the Central Division, one point up on Colorado.
The Avalanche lost, 5-4 in overtime at Winnipeg.
Patrick Sharp and Nick Leddy added a pair of assists for Chicago, which lost Patrick Kane to an undisclosed leg injury in the second period. Following the contest, the club announced Kane is expected to miss three weeks.
"Certainly he's a special player and we'll have to work our way through it, knowing what he brings to our team," said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville, of the misfortune that punctuated his 700th career victory. "It's definitely a huge loss for us, but we've been fortunate as far as not getting hit too hard. You're going to get tested at some point."
Ryan Miller allowed four scores on 27 shots in almost 48 minutes of action for the Blues, who lost for just the second time in the last 10 and saw their lead in the Central shrink to six points over their bitter rivals.
St. Louis picked up its first intra-division loss in 23 games (20-1-2) this season.
Keith opened the scoring on his point blast that ticked off the left post and in during a Chicago power play with 54.4 seconds remaining in the first period.
Chicago went up 2-0 as 4:25 remained on the second-period clock, when Leddy fired away from near the blue line and Shaw redirected the puck with the shaft of his stick past a stunned Miller.
Peter Regin and Kruger worked a give-and-go in close, with the latter pushing a rolling puck home from the right side at 5:20 of the third period to give the hosts a three-goal margin.
On the following shift, St. Louis forward Dmitrij Jaskin was sent off for hooking and the Blackhawks increased their lead by one when Smith deposited a loose puck on the doorstep at 7:35.
"They're the Stanley Cup champions for a reason," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They know when to turn the temperature up. It's our responsibility, no matter what happens in the regular season, if you're going to give them a go, you're going to have to dial it up. They're getting ready. And it's up to us to get ready. That's the task."Game Notes
Quenneville earned his 262nd win as Chicago bench boss, joining Scotty Bowman
(1,244) and Al Arbour (782) as the only members of the 700 club as NHL head
coach ... Miller, who suffered his first loss as a Blue, allowed more than
three goals in one appearance for the first time since being dealt from
Buffalo on Feb. 28 ... Brandon Saad was scratched for the second straight
game ... Prior to the game, the Blues agreed to terms on a three-year,
entry-level contract with forward Zach Pochiro ... Blackhawks forward Michal
Handzus participated in his 1,000th NHL contest and was honored in a pregame
ceremony. He began his career playing for Quenneville in St. Louis.