A tearjerker ending

Blackhawks backup goaltender Brian Boucher earned a job with a standout training camp. But his first start of the season Saturday night will not go on the personal highlight reel.

Radek Dvorak beat Boucher from a sharp angle late in the third period to give the Blues a 4-3 victory.The goal capped a seesaw game in which Hawks scored the first two goals, followed by three straight by St. Louis before the Hawks tied it early in the third period.

Great players sometimes have the best puck luck and that was the case on the Hawks' opening goal.

Adrian Aucoin's shot from the point went high off the glass and rebounded back over the goal and into the slot. Martin Havlat jumped on the rebound and slipped it past Manny Legace for his fifth goal of the season to give the Hawks the lead at 15 minutes 13 seconds of the first period.

They made it 2-0 just 52 seconds later. Bryan Smolinski intercepted a St. Louis pass at the Hawks' blueline for a clean breakaway. The goal was his second of the season and the second short-handed goal of the year for the Hawks.

The Hawks were unable to escape the Blues' power play, however, with Jamie Rivers beating Boucher from the high slot to make it 2-1.

The goal came with defenseman Jassen Cullimore in the penalty box. Cullimore has taken seven minor penalties this season, most on the team. Of those seven minors, opponents have scored power-play goals on three of them.

Rivers' goal was the first of three straight on the power play for St. Louis, which came into the game with one power-play goal in 20 attempts.

The Blues scored twice in the second period with the man advantage and wasted little time on each. Just eight seconds after Brent Seabrook took a roughing penalty, Bill Guerin tied the game at 1:28 of the second.

Sixteen seconds after Patrick Sharp's holding-the-stick penalty, Martin Rucinsky gave the Blues a 3-2 lead. That's the second time in four games the Hawks' penalty-killing unit has allowed three goals in a game.

Meanwhile, the Hawks' power play has gone cold. Since connecting on four of its first nine attempts, it's 0-for-10, including 0-for-6 Saturday. The Hawks played the final 1:22 on the power play with an extra attacker and managed one shot. In their six attempts Saturday, they managed a total of just six shots on goal.

Havlat tied the game with his sixth goal of the year--it was his fourth straight multipoint game--1:34 into the third period with a brilliant rush from his own blue line.


Contractual obligations for the Hawks' radio and television partners to broadcast college football Saturday afternoon kept the game from being moved to an earlier start so as to not go up against Game 3 of the Naitonal League Championship Series.. The Blues had contacted the Hawks earlier in the week about moving the game to the afternoon, according to Hawks general manager Dale Tallon, who didn't oppose changing the time. ... Adam Burish made his NHL debut with Tony Salmelainen a healthy scratch.