Chicago Blackhawks: Vladimir Tarasenko

W2W4: Blackhawks vs. Blues (Game 5)

April, 25, 2014
Apr 25
3:41
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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ST. LOUIS -- The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues face off for Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round series at the Scottrade Center on Friday. The series is tied at 2-2. Here's what to watch for:

" Blues forward David Backes is unlikely to play again due to an upper-body injury. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock didn’t rule him out, but Backes didn’t participate in the morning skate again. Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook will be serving the final game of his three-game suspension for his hit on Backes.


" Game 5 has a good shot of going into overtime. Three of the first four games have gone past regulation and were decided by a 4-3 score.

" The Blues have defeated the Blackhawks in all four games at the Scottrade Center this season. The Blues won 4-3 in three overtimes in Game 1 and 4-3 in one overtime in Game 2 in St. Louis. Neither team has lost at home in the series.

" Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane is coming off his best game of the series. He had two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist in the Blackhawks’ win in Game 4. He appears to have his timing back after missing the final 12 regular-season games due to a lower-body injury.

" Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko leads the NHL with four playoff goals. He had two of them in Game 4. He missed the final 15 games of the regular season.

" Both teams have been consistently effective on the penalty kill and ineffective on the power play. The Blackhawks are 2-for-16 on the power play, and the Blues are 2-for-21.

" Blackhawks forwards Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa haven’t scored in the series. They combined for 64 goals in the regular season. They have had 39 shots on net in the series.

By the numbers: Hawks-Blues Game 4

April, 24, 2014
Apr 24
12:04
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Here's a look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-3 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of their first-round series by the numbers:

• Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice and has an NHL-leading four goals in the playoffs.

• Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews had two assists in the win. He has a team-high five points in the series.

• The Blues scored twice in the final two minutes of the second period. Five of their 11 goals in the series have come in the final two minutes of periods.

• The game included nine penalties, but none were called after the second period.

• Toews won 12-of-23 faceoffs. He's won 68-of-106 for a 64.2 percentage in the series.

• The Blues were 1-for-5 on the power play and are 2-for-21 for in the series.

• The Blackhawks were 1-for-2 on the power play and are 2-for-16 in the series.

• Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy had a game-high 83.9 Corsi percentage (the Blackhawks had 26 shots for and five against when he was on the ice in 5-on-5 situations,) according to extraskater.com.

• The Blackhawks had 15 players with a Corsi percentage greater than 50 percent. The Blues had two.

• Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo had a game-high 28:55 of ice time. He leads the league with 127:16 of ice time in the playoffs.

• The Blues blocked 25 shots and the Blackhawks blocked 17.

• Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp started nine of his 14 shifts in 5-on-5 situations in the offensive zone. He had a game-high 10 shot attempts, including seven on goal.

• Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked four shots and is tied for first in the league with 18 in the playoffs.

• Hjalmarsson led the Blackhawks with 28:43 of ice time. It was the first time in the series that Duncan Keith didn't lead the Blackhawks in ice time.

• Blues forward Steve Ott and Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell tied for a game-high seven this. Bickell is second in the league with 28 playoff hits. Ott is tied for fourth with 21.

By the numbers: Hawks-Blues Game 3

April, 22, 2014
Apr 22
10:59
AM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Here's a look, by the numbers, at the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-0 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of their first-round series:

• Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford stopped all 34 shots he faced, including 26 at even strength. His even-strength save percentage rose to .920 and overall save percentage to .932.

• The Blackhawks went 0-for-4 on the power play. They're 1-for-14 for the series. They have 12 shots on goal from their power plays.

• The Blues were 0-for-3 on the power play. They're 1-for-16 in the series. They have 26 shots on net from their power plays.

• Blues forward Steve Ott and Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell tied for a game-high eight hits. Bickell is second in the NHL with 21 hits in the playoffs.

• The Blues had 14 players with a Corsi percentage (shot differential) higher than 50 percent, according to extraskater.com. The Blackhawks had four. Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko led all players with an 83.3 Corsi (the Blues had 20 shots for and four against when he was on the ice in 5-on-5 situations). Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg had a game-low 25 Corsi (the Blackhawks had six shots for and 18 against when he was on the ice).

• The Blackhawks and Blues combined for seven penalties, which was the lowest amount in the series. They combined for 10 in Game 1 and 17 in Game 2.

• Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews won 19-of-24 faceoffs. He's won 56-of-83 faceoffs for a 67.5 winning percentage in the series.

• Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith played a game-high 27:27, and Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo played a team-high 26:33. Pietrangelo is the first in the NHL with 98:21 of ice time in the playoffs, and Keith is second with 96:32.

• Blues forward Jaden Schwartz had two takeaways and leads the NHL with seven in the playoffs.

• Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked two shots. He's second in the NHL in 14 blocked shots in the playoffs. He also leads the league with 19:24 of short-handed ice time through three games. He played 4:01 on the penalty kill in Game 3.

• Blackhawks forwards Brandon Bollig and Marcus Kruger started every shift in the defensive zone. They combined for 18 shifts.

• Blues forward Alexander Steen attempted 12 shots, including six on net. He has taken 35 shots, including 24 on net, in the series.

• Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa attempted nine shots, including four on net. He has taken 28 shots, including 21 on net, in the series.

W2W4: Blackhawks vs. Blues (Game 3)

April, 21, 2014
Apr 21
4:28
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues face off for Game 3 of their Western Conference first-round series at the United Center on Monday. The Blues lead the series 2-0. Here's what to watch for:

• The Blues will be without David Backes, who suffered an upper-body injury due to a hit by Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook in Game 2. Backes is the Blues' top-line center and plays in all situations. The Blues will return forward Patrik Berglund to the ice. He's missed the past three games due to an upper-body injury.

• Seabrook was suspended three games for his hit. His absence is also costly for the Blackhawks. He's second on the team in minutes and leads it with four points in the playoffs. Sheldon Brookbank will replace Seabrook in the lineup in Game 3.

• There is some bad blood boiling in this series, but both teams have said it's important to not act on it. Aside from the Seabrook hit, Hitchcock also accused Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell of some questionable hits in Game 2. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has kept most of his opinions to himself in the first two games.

• Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko has made an immediate impact in the series after missing the final 15 games of the regular season. He scored in each of the first two games.

• Games 1 and 2 had a number of similarities. The biggest ones were the Blues rallying from a 3-2 deficit to tie the game late in the third period and winning in overtime. The Blackhawks were less than two minutes away from being up 2-0 in the series.

• Special teams have pretty much cancelled each other out through the two games. The Blues are 1-for-13 on the power play, and the Blackhawks are 1-for-10.

• Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford accepted blame for his team's Game 2 loss. He said he needed to play better. He's allowed four goals in each game and has a .904 save percentage for the series.

• Five of the six Blackhawks' goals have been scored by their defensemen. Patrick Kane's breakaway goal in Game 1 was the lone one scored by a forward.

W2W4: Blackhawks vs. Blues (Game 1)

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
12:09
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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ST. LOUIS -- The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues begin their Western Conference first-round series at the Scottrade Center on Thursday. Here's what to watch for:

• The Blues were beat up in many ways by the end of the regular season. They dropped their last six games and allowed the Colorado Avalanche to surpass them for first place in the Central Division. The Blues were also losing players on a near daily basis. They were without David Backes, Patrik Berglund, Barret Jackman, Brenden Morrow, T.J. Oshie, Alex Pietrangelo, Vladimir Sobotka and Vladimir Tarasenko because of injuries in the regular-season finale. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has said he expects all of the players back at some point in the series.

• Tarasenko's return could especially benefit the Blues, who are struggling offensively. He missed the team's past 15 games because of a hand injury. Prior to leaving the lineup, he had produced points in eight of his last nine games, and the Blues went 8-0-1 during that stretch. Since his injury, the Blues went 6-9-0. Goals have been hard to come by for the Blues since losing him -- they were held to fewer than three goals in 12 of the last 15 games. Tarasenko finished the regular season tied for fourth on the team with 21 goals in 64 games.

• The Blackhawks will return two of their top players for Game 1 with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane back in the lineup Thursday night. Toews missed the last six regular-season games because of an upper-body injury, and Kane was out the final 12 games with a lower-body injury. Kane is second on the team with 69 points and Toews is third with 68.

• Both games between the Blackhawks and Blues in St. Louis went down to the wire. The Blues scored in the final minute of the third period to snatch a 3-2 win in their first game Oct. 9. They also had some late heroics Dec. 28 and scored two goals in the first four minutes of the third period to erase a 5-3 deficit. The Blues won 6-5 in a shootout. The Blues went 28-9-4 at home this season.

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Predict the outcome of the Blackhawks/Blues playoff series:

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    53%
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    9%
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Discuss (Total votes: 6,568)

• One-goal games are a common sight in the playoffs, and that's an area where the Blues excelled during the regular season. The Blues had a 24-5-7 record and .667 winning percentage, third best in the league, in games decided by one goal. The Blackhawks ranked 27th in the category with a 17-8-15 record and .425 winning percentage. The Blackhawks were 9-2 in one-goal games during the playoffs last season.

• The Blackhawks were the first team to really get to goaltender Ryan Miller since he arrived in St. Louis in a trade in early March. He had a 1.63 goal-against average and .933 save percentage in his first eight games with the Blues and hadn't allowed more than three goals in any of those games. The Blackhawks lit him up for four goals March 19. Beginning with that game and ending in the regular-season finale, he allowed 33 goals and had a .883 save percentage in his last 11 games.

• The Blackhawks' power play and penalty kill are headed in two different directions. They have killed off 57-of-66 penalties for an 86.4 percentage over the last 22 games since returning from the Olympic break. In that same span, they scored eight power-play goals on 67 chances for an 11.9 percentage.

• The Blues allowed their opponents 56 power plays over the past 13 games, killing off 48 of them. The Colorado Avalanche had eight power-play chances against them April 5. By comparison, the Blackhawks allowed 32 power plays over their final 13 games.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jonathan Toews
PTS GOALS AST +/-
18 9 9 5
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsJ. Toews 9
AssistsM. Hossa 12
+/-K. Versteeg 7
GAAC. Crawford 1.90