The Blackhawks haven’t done well during the Winter Classic
The NHL’s 9th annual Winter Classic outdoor game took place Monday afternoon at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. This years’ combatants were Central division rivals Chicago Blackhawks and the hometown St. Louis Blues. Headed into Monday’s outdoor showdown the Blackhawks lead the division with an 8 point lead on the third place Blues. This would be Chicago’s third ever Winter Classic with a record of 0-2 outside, while the match-up was the first ever for the city of St. Louis and it’s team.
1 minute and 2 seconds into the game, things looked bleak for the hometown Blues, as that was all the time it took for rookie Michal Kempny to score his second goal of the season for the Blackhawks. The remainder of the 1st period stayed scoreless, with chances being traded at either end. Corey Crawford and Jake Allen each held down their end into the 2nd period. 7:45 into the 2nd period, Patrik Berglund buried his 6th goal of the season tying the game at 1 on a nifty feed from defenseman Jay Bouwmeester from behind the Chicago net. The goaltenders were each perfect for the second half of the period, Crawford with 22 saves and Allen with 17 at the opposite end.
In the third period, we then saw the player with the third-most points in the league and 4th most goals take control of the game. Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko netted his 17th and 18th goals of the season with only 1 minute 53 seconds between the pair. St. Louis then sat on their comfortable two-goal lead late in the game, until Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville pulled Crawford in an attempt to tie the game. Alex Steen found the back of the empty net to seal the fate of the 2017 Winter Classic and giving the Chicago Blackhawks their third outdoor loss for a 0-3 all-time record.
The St. Louis Blues are now 1-0 in their Winter Classic match-ups and gave their hometown crowd an exciting victory to observe. Not only defeating their arch-rivals in one of the most hyped up games of the season on national television but moving two points closer to overtaking Chicago in the standings for first place in the Central division. They now trail the Blackhawks by 6 points and will face them only one more time this season on February 26th inside the United Center in Chicago.