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Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 4, Blues 0

By Scott Powers

CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues at the United Center on Wednesday.

How it happened: The Blackhawks put together one of their better overall efforts in a key division matchup. Duncan Keith gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead when he scored a power-play goal at 19:05 in the first period. Andrew Shaw added to the lead when he redirected a shot by Nick Leddy at the net past goaltender Ryan Miller at 15:35 of the second period. Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith extended the lead to 4-0 by each scoring third-period goals. Miller was pulled after the fourth goal. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 23 saves and recorded his second shutout of the season. Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane left the game in the second period with an apparent leg injury and did not return.

What it means: The Blackhawks were 0-1-2 against the Blues this season prior to Wednesday’s win. The Blues hadn’t lost in regulation within the Central this season. The Blackhawks kept their division title hopes alive and also moved ahead of the Colorado Avalanche into second place in the Central. The Blackhawks improved to 40-15-15 with 95 points. The Blues fell to 47-15-7 with 101 points. The Avalanche lost to the Winnipeg Jets in overtime Wednesday and have 94 points with a 44-20-6 record. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville notched his 700th career victory with the win. Blackhawks forward Michal Handzus was honored prior to the game for playing in his 1,000th career regular-season game.

Player of the game: Keith was a factor on both sides of the ice. He scored what turned out to be the winning goal and was a large reason why the Blues were unable to score. He had four blocked shots.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks scored four times on 27 shots against Miller. He hadn’t allowed more than three goals since joining the Blues at the trade deadline.

What’s next: The Blackhawks host the Carolina Hurricanes Friday. The Blackhawks defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in a shootout on the road on Oct. 15.