ST. LOUIS -- The Blues fell behind the visiting Chicago Blackhawks by two goals on three occasions Saturday night at Scottrade Center. Twice, they gave the first sellout crowd of the season a reason to believe they could complete the comeback.
But when backup goalie Brian Elliott, who came on in relief and helped power the club's second-period comeback, allowed Chicago to open a two-goal cushion for the third time early in the third period, the chances of another rally seemed remote.
As fans watching at home were perhaps ready to grab their remotes, however, the Blues picked up goals from Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrik Berglund in the final four minutes of regulation to help send the game to overtime.
Then in the shootout, Kevin Shattenkirk ripped a shot past Chicago goalie Antti Raanta in the fifth round, and when Elliott followed with a save on Brandon Saad, the Blues had clinched a 6-5 victory over the Hawks in front of a raucous crowd of 20,082.
The Blues picked up their 55th point of the season, and with Chicago gaining one, they are now six behind the Central Division-leading Blackhawks, despite playing four fewer games.
The home team rallied Saturday from deficits of 5-3, 3-1 and 2-0, winning its fourth consecutive game against Chicago, dating back to last season.
Tarasenko netted his 12th goal of the season, cutting the Blues' deficit to 5-4 with 3:51 to play.
The odds may have still seemed slim, but then Chicago's Niklas Hjalmarsson was whistled for holding with 3:08 remaining, putting the Blues on a power play. Berglund responded with his fourth goal of the season, tying the score 5-5 with the team's second goal in a span of 1:17.
Elliott saved the Blues from an overtime loss when he stoned Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on a clear-cut breakaway with 1:10 left in OT.
The first two players for each team scored in the shootout, and after each club traded misses in Rounds 3-4, Shattenkirk gave the Blues the slight edge they needed.
There was much anticipation for Saturday's first game with Chicago since the teams played twice in early October. And despite a sluggish start for the Blues, the night lived up to the expectation.
The Blues tied the score 3-3 in the second period on Dmitrij Jaskin's first-career NHL goal, beating Raanta, who is drawing the assignments these days with starter and Corey Crawford and backup Nikolai Khabibulin out with lower-body injuries.
The fourth line came through for the Blues, as Chris Porter won a face-off, Jay Bouwmeeseter put a shot on net and Jaskin buried the rebound with 12 minutes, 13 seconds remaining in the middle period.
Chicago called a timeout with 10:57 left in the period, after which the Blues had several chances to take its first lead of the night.
Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo was denied on a glove save by Raanta. Moments later, Colaiacovo had another shot get deflected on the way to the net and ring off the post. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the period, T.J. Oshie was turned aside by Raanta on a point-blank shot.
Then with 2:14 to play in the second, Saad put the Blackhawks ahead 4-3 with his 13th goal of the season. It was a bit of broken play, as Blues defenseman Ian Cole blocked a shot and the puck went to Saad, who beat Elliott.
The Blackhawks added another goal by Brent Seabrook early in the third period, taking it a 5-3 advantage. This one was a backbacker, as Seabrook found the back of the net from just inside the blueline.
Those keeping score Saturday needed a pencil sharpener.
Chicago started it with a goal by Patrick Sharp, his 22nd of the season, just 7:48 into the game.
Toews whipped a pass up the boards, Marian Hossa gave a touch-pass to Sharp speeding into the offensive zone. Sharp split Blues defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Bouwmeester, put the puck on his backhand and beat starter Jaroslav Halak.
The Blues could ill-afford to fall two goals behind Chicago, which entered with a record of 7-0-2 when playing on the second night of back-to-back games. But that's what happened when Tarasenko was whistled for hooking, and Andrew Shaw scored on the ensuing power play.
Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith put a point-shot on net, Patrick Kane deflected the puck through the legs of Halak and it stopped on the right post. Shaw poked in his 11th goal of the season for a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game.
The Blues had to reshuffle their lines Saturday in the absence of Derek Roy, who took warmups but was a late scratch with the flu. Maxim Lapierre jumped into Roy's spot between Brenden Morrow and Chris Stewart and took advantage of the promotion.
Colaiacovo released a shot from the blueline, and Lapierre got a chunk of the rubber, beating Chicago goalie Antti Raanta. Lapierre's fourth goal of the season trimmed the deficit to 2-1 with 5:56 left in the opening frame.
The Blues were charging back, but the game was about to change, in more ways than one.
Kane regained the two-goal advantage for the Blackhawks, scoring his 23rd goal of the season. His wrist shot from the right circle beat Halak to the far side. Halak finished the period, but Elliott relieved him to start the second period, and that began the Blues comeback.
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