|J. Toews/S. Samsonov Post-Game Video|
|Denis Savard Post-Game Video|
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St. Louis scored two power play goals and Manny Legace made 28 saves as the Blues beat the Blackhawks 3-1 in a Central Division battle at the United Center Wednesday. It was the 4th win in a row for the Blues.
The visitors grabbed the lead 2:14 into the game on a power play with Chicago's Robert Lang in the penalty box for hooking. Blues forward Brad Boyes fed a pass to Paul Kariya and the veteran fired a 10-footer off the shoulder of goalie Nikolai Khabibulin into the upper corner of the net.
St. Louis made it 2-0 four minutes later when Bryce Salvador's 25-footer also glanced off Khabibulin's shoulder to catch the upper left corner of the goal.
The Hawks' lone tally of the game came on a power play at 13:40 after a lengthy video review to make it 2-1. Jason Williams fired a long shot that bounced off the backboard and landed on top of the net. Rookie Jonathan Toews tried to hit it with his stick but missed. The puck rolled over the crossbar, hit the back of Legace's mask and rolled down his back as the goalie flicked the puck out.
There was more than a 10 minute video review to determine if Toews hit the puck above the crossbar and whether the puck was over the goal line as it went down the goalie's back. The goal was awarded to Williams with Toews and Patrick Sharp getting assists.
In the 2nd period, the Blues made it 3-1 on a power play at 5:17 when Keith Tkachuk was left alone outside the goal crease to take a pass from Boyes to slip the puck past Khabibulin.
Hawks coach Denis Savard said his team needed to get a better start in the game.
"In this league, when you have a poor start, it's tough to come back every night," Savard said. "There was effort and a lot of good things happened, but once you get down 2-nothing, it's tough to come back."
Savard felt Sergei Samsonov was his best player; Samsonov led his team with five shots on goal.
The Hawks' best chances came late in the 2nd period when Lang was stopped in-close and Legace made a big save on a 12-footer by Martin Lapointe.
In the final period, Legace smothered a drive by Williams and gloved a backhand attempt by rookie Patrick Kane at the 15 minute mark.
Savard pulled Khabibulin for an extra attacker with less than twominutes to play but a penalty to Kane at 18:42 ended the threat.
Chicago outshot the Blues 29-26 and were 1 of 5 on the power play while St. Louis was 2 of 3.
The Blues are 4-1 and the Hawks are 3-3.
Chicago's Duncan Keith led all skaters with nearly 27 minutes of ice time.
The Hawks wind up their homestand Friday (7:30 p) at the United Center against Colorado.
Notes: The Blackhawks announced that RW Martin Havlat wouldn't undergo surgery to repair an injured right shoulder. Havlat, injured in Minnesota during Chicago's season opener, will miss four to six weeks. ... Chicago LW Rene Bourque sat out due to a groin strain. He is day to day. ... Kariya has points in each of the Blues' first five games. ... St. Louis D Erik Johnson missed his third game because of a fractured foot. ... Blues D Eric Brewer is also out with a shoulder injury.
Paul Kariya: "I think we moved the puck well on the power play. It's something we have to build on. We're off to a good start and that's important."
Keith Tkachuk: "The power play was something we were concerned about, but it came through."
Blues coach Andy Murray: "[Asst. coach] Ray Bennett did a good job of preparing the power play. He had some ideas and they worked. Good players made good plays. When guys execute, they make coaches look better."