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Rapid Reaction: Hawks 4, Blues 3

3/30/2012

CHICAGO -- Here's a quick look at the Blackhawks' shootout win over the Blues on Thursday.

How it happened: Dave Bolland scored the lone goal in the shootout to win the game and the season series for the Hawks. They led 3-1 after breaking a 1-1 tie after two periods. Andrew Brunette finished a scoring play with Patrick Kane crashing the net then Viktor Stalberg and Patrick Sharp worked a 2-on-0 with the latter getting the Hawks third goal. But it wasn’t enough. Jason Arnott stuffed home a puck less than a minute after Sharp’s goal to make 3-2. And with 90 seconds remaining, David Backes tied it again on a tip of a point shot. The Hawks had 14 first-period shots as they were buzzing around goalie Jaroslav Halak. There was no scoring in the second as the teams played it even, but the Hawks broke the deadlock early in the third until St. Louis tied it late.

What it means: It should never have gotten to a shootout. Blowing a 3-1, third-period lead at home simply isn’t acceptable. Pulling ahead 3-1 was nice though. The Hawks dominated with the puck, but Corey Crawford gave up at least one -- maybe two -- weak scores as the Hawks only gave up 18 shots in regulation. The combination of Stalberg and Sharp combined for 13 shots on net. But the Hawks were weak around their net forcing the longer night. Crawford stopped all four shooters in the shootout as he’s gotten better in that department in his first two years in the league. It’s still a good win but a shaky one.

Playoffs?: If Phoenix loses in regulation later on Thursday night the Hawks will clinch a playoff spot.

What’s next: The Hawks take to the road for their season series finale against the Nashville Predators on Saturday. The Hawks are 1-4 against Nashville this year.