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Explosive first period guides Blues to 5-2 win against Blackhawks to fend off elimination

Matthew DeFranks, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Hockey

ST. LOUIS — The Blues couldn't be killed on this night.

On a night in which the Blues could have been eliminated officially from postseason contention, they responded emphatically with a 5-2 win over the Blackhawks on Wednesday night at Enterprise Center.

If the Blues lost in regulation, combined with a Vegas win over Edmonton, St. Louis would have been eliminated from the playoff picture. Instead, they hung on for at least two more days, when they host Carolina in Game No. 80 on Friday night.

The Blues exploded for four goals in the first period to bury the Blackhawks early and then glided from there for their 42nd win of the season. Jordan Kyrou had two goals, and Torey Krug, Zack Bolduc and Robert Thomas also scored for St. Louis.

Joel Hofer made 18 saves for the win.

In order to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, the Blues will need significant help from everyone left on Vegas' schedule: Minnesota, Colorado, Chicago and Anaheim, and all of those games are at T-Mobile Arena. The Blues entered Wednesday five points behind the Golden Knights.

 

Coming in hot

Although the Blues did not score in the first 11 seconds like they did Sunday in Anaheim, they still got off to a blistering start Wednesday against Chicago.

Kyrou scored on a breakaway just 2:04 into the game, sprung through the neutral zone by a Nick Leddy stretch pass to beat Blackhawks goalie Petr Mrazek. Forty-two seconds later, Kyrou scored again, this time on a two-on-one.

It was the fourth-fastest (2:46) that any Blues player has scored two goals to start a game. Kyrou also had the second-quickest instance (2:06) on Jan. 30, 2021.

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