Jaden Schwartz scored at 13 minutes 32 seconds of the third period with Patrick Kane in the penalty box for high-sticking, and the St. Louis Blues beat the host Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2, on Sunday for a 2-1 lead in their first-round Western Conference playoff series.
Patrik Berglund also scored in the third as St. Louis rallied for the win after a difficult 3-2 loss in Game 2 that included two key coach’s challenges that went against the Blues. Brian Elliott made 44 saves in Game 3, keeping St. Louis in the game during Chicago’s strong second period.
Kane, the NHL’s leading scorer this season and one of the favorites for league most valuable player, got four minutes for a high stick on defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, and St. Louis made the most of the chance to go in front.
Vladimir Tarasenko passed down low to David Backes, who sent it right to Schwartz in the slot. He beat Corey Crawford low on the glove side for his third career playoff goal and a 3-2 lead with 6:38 left.
The Blackhawks pulled Crawford for an extra attacker with 1:10 remaining, but Elliott and the Blues held on.
Brent Seabrook and Artem Anisimov scored for the Blackhawks, who dropped to 28-7 in home playoff games since the 2013 postseason. It was their first home playoff game since they won the Stanley Cup at the United Center last June.
at Detroit 2, Tampa Bay 0: Andreas Athanasiou and Henrik Zetterberg scored, Petr Mrazek made 16 saves and the Red Wings cut their deficit in the Eastern Conference series to 2-1. Ben Bishop made 28 saves for the Lightning, who had their top line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn shut down after each of the three had six points apiece in the first two games of the series.
Detroit’s rookie coach, Jeff Blashill, benched goaltender Jimmy Howard for Game 3 and put Mrazek in net. The move seemed to work, though, as the Red Wings’ swarming defense and backchecking forwards limited Tampa Bay’s shots on net.
at New York Islanders 4, Florida 3 (OT): Thomas Hickey scored 12:31 into overtime off a Brock Nelson pass from behind the net, giving the Islanders a 2-1 lead in an Eastern Conference series.
Ryan Pulock, Shane Prince and Frans Nielsen scored for the Islanders, and Thomas Greiss had 36 saves. Reilly Smith had a goal and two assists for the Panthers and now has four goals and four assists in the series.
Florida had several chances in the first seven minutes of overtime, but couldn’t get anything past Greiss.