Blues edged by Blackhawks in 4-2 loss after Chicago clinches on empty-netter
ST. LOUIS -- A little more than a minute into the critical power play, the Chicago Blackhawks dispensed with setting up shop on offense and went for the quick hit.
Marian Hossa made it count on a one-timer from the slot midway through the third period for the go-ahead goal in a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.
"I just tried to finish it," Hossa said. "That was a set play and I'm glad it worked."
Hossa clinched it with an empty-netter for the Blackhawks, who regained their footing at the end of a 4-3 trip with victories over St. Louis and Winnipeg the last three days. Now, they'll be settling in for eight in a row at home that begins against the Coyotes on Monday night.
"I don't think I've ever been on any team that had eight straight home games," coach Joel Quenneville said. "It should be fun."
Bryan Bickell had a goal and assisted on the go-ahead score for Chicago, which also got a goal from Marcus Kruger.
"I thought it was a pretty good effort all the way around," defenseman Duncan Keith said. "Obviously, they've got a lot of hard-working players, and it's a tough game every time we play these guys."
Vladimir Tarasenko and David Backes had a goal apiece for St. Louis, which never led and has lost two straight since a franchise-record 13-game point streak. The Blues are 20-5-2 at home.
"I thought in the third period we looked tired," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I think a lot of it was us having to come back. The whole game we had to mount a comeback."
But the showing was a big improvement from the last game, a 7-1 loss at Columbus on Friday.
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"We looked like our old selves again," Elliott said. "I thought we stuck to our guns and really wanted to do the little things right for each other."
Standing room attendance of 19,657 was the Blues' 11th sellout and included thousands of red-clad Blackhawks fans.
"When you come to this building, it always feels like playoffs," Hossa said. "We have lots of fans so they make it a great atmosphere for us.
"It's a big rivalry and a huge two points."
Hossa's 11th and 12th goals were his first points in six games. Jay Bouwmeester was off for hooking, preventing a breakaway by Brad Richards, when Hossa whistled a shot past Elliott at 11:19 for a 3-2 lead.
There were only five penalties overall, with the Blackhawks getting two power plays and the Blues one.
Tarasenko tied it at 2 on a breakaway early in the second, getting Corey Crawford to commit with a couple of forehand fakes and then slipping the puck into the net for his team-leading 28th goal and fourth in five games.
The Blackhawks briefly led 2-1 after Bickell pounced on a rebound in the slot and beat Elliott at 11:25 of the second. The Blues answered 1:28 later when Backes scored his 18th goal on a rebound while Crawford was occupied by a fallen T.J. Oshie in the crease.
Kruger's fifth goal on a 2-on-1 break opened the scoring at 4:38 of the first. It was his first point in 20 games and first goal in 28 games since Dec. 3 against the Blues at home.
NOTES: Daniel Carcillo earned his 100th career assist on Kruger's goal. ... Tarasenko has four goals in five games. ... Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has 691 career wins and needs one to tie Dick Irwin for fourth on the career list. ... The Blackhawks lead the season series 2-1. ... Crawford is 12-2-0-3 against St. Louis. ... Blues F Paul Stastny was just 6-13 on faceoffs.