CHICAGO -- Eight days after his club fell to the Blues, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville was still fuming Wednesday over a loss that came in the closing seconds.
"I'm over it now," Quenneville admitted Thursday morning, as his Blackhawks were preparing to host the Blues. "It bothered me a bit ... but you have to move on."
The rematch was about moving on for the Blues as well. They were leaving the friendly confines of Scottrade Center, venturing out for their first road game of the season. And they were looking to bounce back from a forgettable loss to San Jose on Tuesday.
In a game that mirrored the last meeting up until the end, the Blues put a hostile crowd of 21,169 at United Center out of mind, and put the Shark encounter behind them, too, winning, 3-2, in a shootout over the Blackhawks.
In the Oct. 9 matchup, the Blues took the lead twice and Chicago responded quickly both times. On Thursday, the opposite happened, with the Blackhawks opening an advantage twice and the Blues answering. But on this night, with the game tied 2-2 in the waning moments, there were no
heroics like last time from Alexander Steen, who scored the game-winner with 21 seconds left.
This time, the Blues needed a shootout goal from T.J. Oshie and three saves from goaltender Jaroslav Halak to pull out of the Windy City with a win. Oshie took a casual stroll down shootout lane before beating Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford with a forehand-backhand-forehand deke.
"I can only do that on Playstation," Blues captain David Backes said. "Even then I can't do it."
Oshie was the Blues' first shooter, so even after his conversion, the team still had to hope for Halak, who had already stopped Chicago forward Patrick Kane, to snuff out Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp.
"You're only the first shooter, so you don't want to celebrate too hard," Oshie said. "But I was pretty excited when that one went in."
Halak turned away the entire Blackhawks trio and the Blues had their third straight win over Chicago, dating back to last season. They will be back in action tonight when they complete their first set of games on back-to-back nights, traveling to Winnipeg for a 7 o'clock start at the MTS Centre.
"After the first 10 minutes, we played really well," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We weathered the storm. We knew were going to weather a storm, from what happened in the last game. But I thought after the first 10 minutes, we played a really good hockey game."
The Blues and Chicago were tied 2-2 entering the third period, with the Blues' two goals coming on deflections and the Blackhawks' pair coming after a couple of costly turnovers.
The 'Hawks led twice in the game, picking up their first goal from rookie Brandon Pirri, his first in the NHL. Marian Hossa picked off a clearing attempt by defenseman Roman Polak and fed Pirri in the slot. He rifled a puck past Halak for a 1-0 score eight minutes into the first frame.
The Blues responded with a power-play goal as Backes, who playing in his 500th career game, netted his fifth goal of the season for a 1-1 tie with 9:46 left in the first period. He redirected in a shot by Jay Bouwmeester.
Halak came up with a top-notch save on a partial breakaway by Hossa, but Halak wouldn't be so successful a little later.
Hossa scooped up a loose puck left by Barret Jackman, and with the Blues on a line change, Hossa was off to the races along with Sharp on a clear breakaway. Hossa put a shot far-side past Halak for his third goal of the season for a 2-1 lead with 2:38 left in the period.
"The 2 on 0, what are you going to do?" Hitchcock said. "You're looking at a 4 on 1 (for the Blues) and the next thing you know, it's a 2 on 0. Nothing you can do there. Those are the things that happened."
Just 51 seconds after Hossa's goal, Steen tied the score 2-2 with his fifth goal of the season. Bouwmeester put the puck on net, Steen redirected it once and it deflected again off Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith on its way into the net.
Steen matched Backes for the team lead in goals and Bouwmeester had his second assist of the night and fourth of the season. Oshie also assisted for his 200th career point.
Both Chicago and the Blues tried to help each other in the third period, putting one another on the power play. But neither unit was successful, sending the game to overtime, where Jackman nearly ended the game but instead hit the post.
With Oshie's shootout goal on the board, the Blues hit the showers when Halak stopped Sharp on the Blackhawks' final chance.
"Osh came out with a great move, and good for us ... it was enough to win the game," Halak said. "I think Osh, it must be really hard to face him. He's got so many tricks and he can do it so fast. He did it tonight. It's amazing.
"Kane has scored a lot of goals in the shootout, and Toews and Sharp ... all three of them, they are great players. I was fortunate enough that (Kane) missed the first shot. Then I was able to stay with Toews. Sharp, I just left my glove out there and he shot it in my glove."
The Blues were flying onto Winnipeg and Quenneville was fuming.
(c)2013 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Visit the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at www.stltoday.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services