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It’s always good to beat a division rival – even in preseason. Okay, so the Blackhawks were without Kane or Toews but the Blues also experimented by playing prospects Nikitin and Cole on the same defensive line.
As ever the Blues started slowly – being outshot 14-5 in the first period. Sluggish is probably the way to describe the Blues in the first period and they have Jaroslav Halak to thank for going in at the interval tied 0-0. The more shots Halak faces, the better he seems to be. It settled him down and he made some excellent saves. If the Blues are going to continue to start slow, then Halak is the man they need in net.
The Blackhawks scored first however, with a powerplay goal with almost 8 minutes of the second period gone. A shot from the blue line was tipped past Halak by Ben Smith. The lead didn’t last long as just over two minutes later, David Perron tied the game for the Blues and then Oshie put the Blues ahead with a wonderfully taken goal with 3 minutes left in the period. The Blues and Blackhawks were tied in the second period with 10 shots apiece.
In the third, the Blues finally outshot the Blackhawks by 11-7 and managed to score two more goals. Matt D’Agostini scored a couple of minutes in and Alex Steen tied things up with an empty netter late on in the game. During the two goals, Jaroslav Halak almost casually saved a penalty shot.
Halak finished with 30 saves on 31 shots. Marty Turco for the Blackhawks finished with 22 saves on 25 shots. Game highlights are on the Blues Official Site but there’s the postgame interview with Jaroslav Halak – containing the quote of day with his “He shoot the puck…and I was there” comment upon describing the penalty shot.