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Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 2, Blues 0

4/22/2014

CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-0 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of their Western Conference first-round series at the United Center on Monday.

How it happened: The Blackhawks finally were able to secure a late lead against the Blues. Chicago had lost each of the first two games of the series by allowing the Blues a late third-period goal then giving up another in overtime. The Blackhawks took a 1-0 advantage when Jonathan Toews scored with a shot from the top of the left circle at 4 minutes, 10 seconds of the first period. Marcus Kruger scored an empty-net goal with 19.2 seconds left in the third. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford stopped all 34 shots he faced. Blues goaltender Ryan Miller made 23 saves. The Blackhawks were 0-for-4 on the power play, and the Blues were 0-for-3. Toews won 19 of 24 faceoffs.

What it means: The Blackhawks won their first game of the series and cut the Blues’ lead to 2-1. The Blues won both of their games in St. Louis. Toews’ goal was his first of the playoffs. Blackhawks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank held his own while replacing Brent Seabrook, who served the first game of a three-game suspension for his hit on David Backes in Game 2. Both teams continued their penalty-kill success and power-play struggles. The Blackhawks are 1-for-14 on the power play in the series; the Blues are 1-for-16.

Player of the game: Crawford called himself out after Game 2 and said he needed to play better. He did that in Game 3. Monday marked his third career playoff shutout.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks blocked 24 shots. Nick Leddy and Johnny Oduya each had a team-high four blocks.

What’s next: The series remains in Chicago for Game 4 on Wednesday.