Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bluenotes: Blues Give Blackhawks Too Much Room; with Bouwmeester in the Penalty Box, Hossa Scores the Game-Winner for Chicago; NHL

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bluenotes: Blues Give Blackhawks Too Much Room; with Bouwmeester in the Penalty Box, Hossa Scores the Game-Winner for Chicago; NHL

Article excerpt

The Blues admitted that they needed to be more aggressive on Chicago's game-winning power-play goal in Sunday's 4-2 victory at Scottrade Center.

The Blackhawks' Brandon Saad easily gained the offensive zone before dishing to Marian Hossa, whose snap shot from the slot put the visitors ahead 3-2 with 8 minutes, 41 seconds left in regulation.

"We didn't have a tough enough gap on (Saad)," coach Ken Hitchcock said.

The Blues' 19th-ranked penalty-killing unit was on the ice late in the game after a hooking penalty by defenseman Jay Bouwmeester on Chicago's Brad Richards.

Bouwmeester had a chance to keep a Blackhawks clearing attempt in the offensive zone, but the puck got by his stick. Richards outraced both Bouwmeester and David Backes to the puck, drawing the penalty from the defenseman.

"He did what he had to do," teammate Alex Pietrangelo said. "That's a smart defensive play by him. It's either he gets a breakaway or does that."

Bouwmeester is one of the Blues' top penalty-killers, averaging 3 minutes, 2 seconds a game short-handed. With him in the box, the club sent out Backes, Pietrangelo, Alexander Steen and Barret Jackman, who erased the first part of the penalty.

The next wave of the special-teams unit included Marcel Goc, Patrik Berglund, Chris Butler and Carl Gunnarsson.

On the play, Saad blew past Goc at the blue line, giving him plenty of room before he met Butler. Saad curled and fed a pass to a wide-open Hossa, who had plenty of room to shoot with Gunnarsson backed off, standing in front of the net.

"Limiting their time and space is always the key on that penalty- kill break-in," Backes said. "Most power plays take that, turn it back around, get it set up and try to get some zone time. We knew that they do attack the net on occasion and need to be aware of it. It was a pretty darned good play and Hossa in the slot with a one- timer is not something you want to be giving up."

Hossa ripped a shot from 38 feet for his 11th goal of the season, handing the Blackhawks their third lead of the game.

"That was a set play," Hossa said, "and I'm glad it worked."

The puck didn't appear to be deflecting, beating goalie Brian Elliott on his blocker side. …

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