Chicago at St. Louis
When: 9:30 PM ET, Thursday, April 21, 2016
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
After losing in the first round in each of the last three years, the St. Louis Blues have a chance to oust the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks from the playoffs when the Central Division rivals play Game 5 in the Gateway City on Thursday. Vladimir Tarasenko increased his series point total to five (three goals, two assists) and his playoff goal tally to 13 in 17 career games after he scored twice and added an assist in Tuesday's 4-3 victory.
"I don't know if it's just Chicago; we have the belief that we can beat anybody," coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters after St. Louis seized a 3-1 advantage in the series. Andrew Shaw collected one goal and two assists, but the Blackhawks' first-line forward's costly interference penalty late in the third period sealed his team's fate on Tuesday. The 24-year-old compounded his problems by making an inappropriate gesture toward an official and mouthing a homophobic slur toward someone on the ice in full view of television cameras - actions for which he apologized the following day. The Blackhawks said they were "extremely" disappointed by the incident and the league took action by suspending Shaw for Game 5, issuing a $5,000 fine and ordering him to undergo sensitivity training.TV:
9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVAS, SN, CSN Chicago, FSN Midwest (St. Louis)ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS:
While Shaw is set to serve his one-game suspension, defenseman Duncan Keith has scored three goals and set up another since completing his six-game ban for a hit on Minnesota's Charlie Coyle. "We know it takes four to win a series, so we're going to do everything we can to make sure we have our best game. We have to," Keith told reporters. "We're facing elimination and we've got to leave it all out on the ice." Keith's four points have him tied for the team lead with Shaw (two goals, two assists) as well as Patrick Kane (four assists), who joins captain Jonathan Toews and veteran Marian Hossa in search of their first goal in the series.ABOUT THE BLUES:
After failing to record a point in his last four regular-season contests in addition to the series opener, Jaden Schwartz has gotten hot in a hurry with an assist in Game 2, a goal in Game 3 and one of each on Tuesday. "We're going to have to (overcome adversity) to beat this team," the 23-year-old Schwartz told reporters. "We're going to have to find a way to come back when we're down, find a way to get some insurance goals ... do all the little things. We're enjoying battling for each other right now." Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk also has recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in the series and has at least one in eight of his last 10 games.OVERTIME
1. St. Louis G Brian Elliott has stopped 144-of-151 shots in the series.
2. Chicago is trailing 3-1 in a series for the first time since the 2014 Western Conference final. The Blackhawks lost that series to Los Angeles following an overtime loss in Game 7.
3. The Blues were denied on their first five power-play opportunities in the series before scoring twice with the man advantage in both Games 3 and 4.PREDICTION:
Blackhawks 4, Blues 2
Stats and Records