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Dropping gloves, then game
The Blackhawks' home is their castle, but the St. Louis Blues stormed the gates with an early barrage of goals and fists Friday night.
The Blues eventually pushed and shoved their way to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Hawks in front of a crowd of 22,260 at the United Center.
Despite the defeat, the Hawks extended their points streak to six games and have at least one point in 12 of their last 13 games. They remained unbeaten in regulation at home (6-0-4) and are now 7-3-5 overall. St. Louis snapped a six-game losing skid.
St. Louis led 3-1 after a fight-filled first period. But after the Hawks tied it on Dave Bolland's first two goals of the season, Andy McDonald scored the game-winner on a power play in overtime after a hooking penalty on Bolland.
"It wasn't smart," Bolland said of the penalty. "You wish you could go back, but you can't. Things were going my way most of the game, but it was a bad break, and that's what happens. You have to learn from your mistakes and come back."
"Tough call at the end," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I don't think he did anything wrong on the play. It was a hard play."
The Blues opened the scoring on McDonald's short-handed goal just 3 minutes 49 seconds into the game. David Perron's wrist shot from the left circle 2:30 later gave St. Louis a 2-0 advantage.
Dustin Byfuglien's second goal of the season cut the lead to 2-1 less than a minute later. Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd had a two-on-one opportunity against Blues goalie Manny Legace, and Ladd slipped a pass to his teammate, who one-timed it in.
St. Louis' Cam Paddock made it 3-1 midway through the first period, and then the fisticuffs began. Four separate fights and 58 total penalty minutes closed out the period.
The momentum shifted toward the Hawks with just less than 14 minutes remaining in the second when Kris Versteeg chipped the puck ahead to Bolland, who broke in alone on Legace and tucked the puck between the goalie's skate and right post for his first goal of the season. It was the Hawks' second short-handed goal this season and cut the St. Louis lead to 3-2.
Early in the third, Bolland scored his second off a pass from Ladd from behind the St. Louis goal. Ladd found Bolland inside the right circle, and the center sent a one-timer past Legace.
That set up the overtime, and McDonald cashed in on the four-on-three with a shot that Hawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin couldn't stop. Khabibulin made 26 saves.
"We dug ourselves a hole, but we battled back and gave ourselves a chance to win," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We can't blame anybody else but ourselves. We have to let this one sink in and really get ticked off about it."
Bolland's penalty led to the Blues' only power-play goal in six chances. The Hawks were 0-for-6.