Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Turn It around, Knock off 'Hawks 3-1

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Turn It around, Knock off 'Hawks 3-1

Article excerpt

There are moments in hockey games that have "turning point" written all over them. With 16 minutes 40 seconds remaining in the third period, Brett Hull and the Blues seemed on the wrong end of the turn.

With the Blues leading 2-0, Hull was awarded a penalty shot after being pulled down on a breakaway. A goal would put the game in the Blues' pocket; a miss would give the Blackhawks life. Hull missed the net with his shot and - sure enough - the Blackhawks scored 1:17 later.

But Team Turmoil overcame those ominous moments and beat the Blackhawks 3-1 at the United Center on Thursday.

After firing wide of the Chicago net and opening the home team's window of opportunity, Hull acknowledged that he had a sinking feeling.

"That's the way I felt about it," said Hull, who earlier scored his 25th goal. "I'm the scorer, and I'm supposed to put those away. If I score, the game's over and if I don't, they're back in it. And that's exactly what happened."

But one good turn deserved another. After Eric Daze scored a fluke goal off goaltender Grant Fuhr's skate to cut the Blues' lead to 2-1, Hull intercepted a Tony Amonte drop pass and broke up ice two on one with Craig Johnson. Hull held the puck until the opportune moment against defenseman Chris Chelios, then slid a pass to Johnson, who converted into an open net.

"That felt great," Hull said. "To miss that penalty shot, it's almost like you're not doing your job. And then have a chance to help get it back . . . that's a good feeling."

Johnson scored his fifth goal of the NHL season less than two minutes after Daze had scored. Daze was skating past the net and attempting to center the puck when it hit the inside of Fuhr's skate and deflected in. Fuhr made up for the mistake with several acrobatic saves down the stretch.

"Both goalies were outstanding," Blues coach Mike Keenan said. "Certainly Grant's play was a key for us."

The Blues scored first against goaltender Jeff Hackett, who had won eight games in succession, equaling Tony Esposito's team record. A "BlueHawks" line of Adam Creighton, Brian Noonan and Stephane Matteau - all former Blackhawks - set the table. …

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