Tonight’s loss to the Chicago Blackhawks can only be described as disappointing. The Blues came out of the gate explosively, responding to Andrew Brunette’s 2:51 goal with first Period goals from Jamie Langenbrunner (5), Andy McDonald (9), and Patrik Berglund (16). Blues fans, including myself, were already thinking about the W. The rest of the game only went downhill, and quite a few notable streaks were broken.
- This was the first game of the season the Blues have lost when scoring three goals or more in a single game. They were 36-0 before tonight.
- When the Blackhawks scored their game-tying goal on a power-play in the third, they broke the Blues’ streak of 51 straight penalty kills. The NHL record was 53, by the Washington Capitals in the 1999-00 season.
- The Blues had limited their last 10 opponents to two or fewer goals.
- Jaroslav Halak had won his previous 8 starts. Despite the loss, Halak played admirably, keeping the Blues in it for the entire game. It’s never an easy night when a goalie faces 46 shots, and Halak had a number of insane saves in the third period.
The St. Louis-Chicago hockey rivalry has been absolutely heated this season, and this win would have been an exclamation point for the Blues. Instead, it was a way for the Hawks to take a lead in the season series which is now 3-2. After the explosive first period, the Blues totally gave up control of the game to the Hawks. The opportunities just didn’t come, and the Hawks began to chip their way back in. The third period was excruciating to watch, and my heart stopped half a dozen times. The Blues fought hard through the end, but ultimately caused their own demise. They were given four penalties in the third period alone, and had little to no offense. The Blues were outshot 46-24 for the game. While the Blues lost in a shootout, and nearly gave the game away in the third period, they did escape with a valuable point. While the win would’ve been awesome, I’ll definitely take a point away in any game with the Blackhawks. While the Blues let the road atmosphere overcome them in this game, I’m looking for them to come back even more furiously when they return to the United Center on March 29th for the sixth and final game with the Hawks this season.