ST. LOUIS -- In the hallway outside the Chicago Blackhawks' dressing room not long before puck drop, Jonathan Toews had a pretty good idea of what would transpire when the defending Stanley Cup champions faced the Central Division rival St. Louis Blues.
"Same as always -- a playoff-style game," Toews said.
As usual, the captain nailed it.
In a highly entertaining game that had the look and feel of postseason hockey, the Blues kept coming at the Hawks and eventually pulled out a 6-5 victory in a shootout Saturday night before an enthusiastic crowd of 20,082 at the Scottrade Center. The Blues twice rallied from two-goal deficits to top the Hawks for the third time in as many meetings this season.
"It was a great hockey game," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Great intensity. It was good for the sport, tough for us."
What made the loss that capped the Hawks' first half of the season that much more difficult were the blown leads, including a 5-3 advantage with less than four minutes left in the third period.
"We felt like we played well in spurts, but we seemed to give them some momentum, and it was tough to get it back once we gave it to them," Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "We definitely didn't make it easy on ourselves."
Kevin Shattenkirk scored the winner in the fifth round of the shootout. Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and two assists, Patrik Berglund a goal and an assist and Maxim Lapierre, Jaden Schwartz and Dmitrij Jaskin also scored for the Blues, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Brian Elliott relieved Jaroslav Halak in goal to start the second period and earned the victory.
"It's fun to play in these playoff-atmosphere-style games," said Hawks winger Patrick Kane, who had a goal and two assists while extending his career-long points streak to 14 games. "Even being up 3-1 (after the first period), we knew they weren't going to quit."
In addition to Kane's output, Patrick Sharp, Andrew Shaw, Brandon Saad and Brent Seabrook scored.
But goalie Antti Raanta couldn't hold the two leads. Toews and Keith each added two assists as the Hawks finished the first half 27-7-7.
Tarasenko and Berglund scored 1 minute, 7 seconds apart late to push the game to the shootout, where Shattenkirk won it.
"It was a competitive game," Quenneville said. "They really turned it up in the second period, and we didn't have the great response we needed. We were still in pretty good shape at 5-3 late in the game, (but) we can't let two go in that time of the game."
The teams will meet twice more, and while there is plenty of hockey remaining, they appear to be on a collision course in the Western Conference playoffs.
"Right now, it seems like they have our number," Kane said. "You never want to give a team you play three times six points, especially in your own division."
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