ST. LOUIS — For the second time in 10 days, the St. Louis Blues found themselves chasing a deficit against the rival Chicago Blackhawks.
This time, however, there was no roaring back.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice but the Blues fell to the visiting Blackhawks 4-2 on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at Scottrade Center.
“We’ve played some good hockey the last few weeks,” Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. “That was a hard game. We know that we are always going to have tough games against these guys. I think we kept showing that we will fight and that’s important. We never stopped, we always had chances to be in the game.”
The Blues (11-5-1, 23 points) overcame a three-goal first-period deficit with four unanswered goals to beat the Blackhawks on Nov. 4 in Chicago. This time, St. Louis led 2-1 in the second period before the Blackhawks (9-7-1, 19 points) scored three unanswered goals.
“You know, we’ve got a long ways to go,” said Blues goalie Jake Allen, who finished with 23 saves. “Not good enough yet. If we want to be where we need to be, we need to win these games. That’s not the case right now.”
The Blues had won three of their last four and six of their last eight. They were also 4-1-1 in their first six games at Scottrade Center.
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks had been reeling, losing three of their last four and five of seven. Since winning their first road game of the season, they had lost five straight away from United Center.
That changed on Saturday night as Andrew Shaw, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov all scored goals and Corey Crawford stopped 29 shots.
“That was a really big win,” Crawford said. “That’s a tough team to play against. Even when you’re playing at home, they are tough to play against. In this building it’s even harder to play against them. I think we needed this sort of game to get back into the swing of things. It’s kind of been up and down and this one was a good test for us.”
Kane’s power-play goal late in the second period, after Troy Brouwer went to the box for slashing, was the difference. He got behind the defense and beat Allen with a quick shot.
“Give them chances they’ll score,” Allen said. “They’re a dangerous team. Kane is dangerous when he is in alone.”
It was Kane’s 12th of the season, which ties him for the NHL lead, and extended his league-high points streak to 12 games. Kane’s 26 points are also tied for the most in the league.
“Eventually, if we expect to win, we’re going to have to make big plays at the right time,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “That’s what that team has done. They make big plays at the right time, that's why they win championships. If we want a piece of the pie in this division and this conference, we’re going to have to have more people make big plays at the right time.”