Patrick Kane wins Game 4 in OT, Hawks even series - Fox 2 News Headlines

Patrick Kane wins Game 4 in OT, Hawks even series

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Blackhawks centerpiece performers were their top players and now this series is a best two out of three.

In the end, Patrick Kane won Game 4 and changed the series as the Hawks beat the Blues 4-3 in overtime. In many ways, the Blackhawks looked like themselves for the first time this series.

Jonathan Toews was credited with two assists and Kane had two goals and one assist. Bryan Bickell, a playoff hero from last season, had a beautiful deflection to tie the score and send the game to overtime. The trio started the night on the same line, but they didn’t finish together.

Ben Smith got some time centering for Kane and was on the ice with him for the game winner. Smith drove the net, which opened up space for Kane who made no mistake. Kane placed a beautiful wrist shot past Ryan Miller on the short side.

Toews was moved away from Kane to center for Bickell and Marian Hossa. Those three had a nice shift late in the third period and it resulted in the third goal which got the Hawks even with the Blues.

Joel Quenneville also looked like his old self as he pushed the correct buttons. Kane and Toews were his best forwards and it took some guts to separate them, but it worked out nicely.

On Wednesday night the Hawks not only looked like Stanley Cup champions, but they also resembled a club that makes things difficult on themselves.

The opening period of Game 4 was the best of the playoffs for the Blackhawks. They outshot the Blues 13-8, but what was more significant is the Hawks had a good amount of offensive zone time and were able to drive to the net.

Once again, St. Louis rallied with markers late in a period. Incredibly the Blues scored two potentially lethal goals inside of 65 seconds at the end of the middle frame.

The first came on the power play as up until then the Hawks had successfully killed off 19 of 20 penalties. The Blackhawk penalty killers have been as good as their 19 of 21 record, with Marcus Kruger and Michal Handzus continuing to impress. Wednesday night, Kruger was also a winner of six out of seven faceoffs.

On the Blues second tally, Patrick Sharp didn’t pay attention to details and failed to clear the zone. The puck made its way past Crawford and the Blues captured momentum after scoring with four seconds remaining in period two. Sharp had seven shots but remains ice cold. He failed on a couple of great scoring chances.

St. Louis came out and seized control in the third period. They were aggressive and took the lead at the 12:26 mark on Vladimir Tarasenko's second goal on the night. Although Crawford faced 13 shots in the third frame and only allowed one to get by, he could have had a better effort on the Blues third goal.

The Blackhawks came out strong in the OT and did play with confidence. Quenneville’s squad will look to build on their success when they take to the road.

To advance, the Blackhawks will have to win at least one game in St. Louis and Friday night could be their best chance. The Hawks have some confidence and maybe the Blues have some doubt for the first time this series.

Al's Shots

The Blues were once again without their captain David Backes. The word I heard before the game was Backes had less than a five percent chance of playing. I’m also still hearing Backes has a whiplash type of injury rather than a concussion.

It really didn’t make sense for Backes to try to rush back to action while the Blues were leading in the series. It remains to be seen if he will be able to play on Friday.

Duncan Keith wasn’t as physical as in other games this series.

I’m hearing Keith suffered a shoulder injury on a big hit Steve Ott delivered in Game 3. Keith could have a separated shoulder but that’s an injury he could play with for awhile.

Time will tell if in fact Keith is dealing with a shoulder injury. If so, it likely won’t get much better until the off season.

The Hawks were guilty of some sloppy puck management and committed 13 giveaways. The Blues had only four giveaways.

The Hawks were whistled for six penalties and Quenneville couldn't have been thrilled.

Johnny Oduya had his best game of the series and was credited with a nice assist on Kane's first goal. Oduya also recorded two shots, three hits and had two blocks.

For the third time in this series a game ended with a 4-3 score in overtime.

I will be back on Saturday morning and you can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia.

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