How it happened: The Blackhawks scored two goals in the first 2:01 of the third period to gain control of the game. The teams were tied 1-1 after two periods. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews broke the tie when he scored a power-play goal 44 seconds into the third period. He had three game-winning goals in the series. One minute, 17 seconds later, Patrick Sharp gave the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead by scoring on a breakaway. Andrew Shaw tipped in a Duncan Keith shot to put the Blackhawks ahead 4-1 at 7:30 of the period. Keith scored the game’s final goal. The Blackhawks limited the Blues to one goal in the second period despite the Blues outshooting them 17-3. The Blues went 0-for-6 on the power play for the game. The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead when Bryan Bickell redirected a shot by Brent Seabrook at 4:12 of the first period. Seabrook had the missed the previous three games due to a suspension. The Blues tied the game 1-1 when Alexander Steen set up T.J. Oshie in front of the net at 16:28 of the first period. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 35 saves, and Blues goaltender Ryan Miller made 22 saves.
What it means: The Blackhawks won the series 4-2 and eliminated the Blues. It’s the second consecutive season where the Blues built a 2-0 lead in their first-round series and lost the next four games. The Blackhawks improved to 11-2 in games where they have had an opportunity to close out a series in coach Joel Quenneville’s six seasons. It was the first game in the series decided by more than two goals. Four of the six games went to overtime. The Blackhawks’ penalty kill stepped up throughout the series. The Blues were 2-for-29 on the power play in the six games. Sharp’s goal was his first of the series.
Player of the game: Keith had a goal, three assists and a plus-3 rating.
Stat of the game: The Blackhawks killed off all 10 minutes of the Blues’ power-play time.
What’s next: The Blackhawks now await their second-round opponent. They will play the winner of the Minnesota Wild-Colorado Avalanche series. The Avalanche lead the Wild 3-2 with Game 6 coming on Monday. The Blackhawks went 2-3-0 against the Wild in the regular season and 1-3-1 against the Avalanche. The Avalanche would have home-ice advantage over the Blackhawks, and the Blackhawks would have it over the Wild.