Coming into Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, the St. Louis Blues controlled their own destiny. Despite being losers of three straight (including a 4-2 defeat to Washington on Monday), the Blues just needed to win their final three games of the regular season against the Chicago Blackhawks (2) and the Colorado Avalanche (1) to get into the playoffs.
Instead, they choked.
— NHL (@NHL) April 5, 2018
Tied 3-3 in the game’s final minute, Duncan Keith scored on a one timer past goaltender Jake Allen to give the Blackhawks the lead with 8.5 seconds remaining. They would hang on to win. The Blues were killing an end-of-a-game power play due to Chris Butler’s holding penalty on Patrick Sharp.
The Blues were pretty apocalyptic about the loss.
The bench was sad.
Vladimir Tarasenko angrily broke his stick over his knee before disposing the broken ends onto the ice.
General manager Doug Armstrong needed to take a walk.
The Blackhawks relished the role of spoiler with their geographic rival and spoke about their motivation ahead of the game.
‘It’d be nice to see them miss the playoffs,’’ winger Patrick Kane said of the Blues, per the Chicago Sun-Times. ‘‘So it would be nice to have a hand in that.’’
Erik Gustafsson didn’t mince words either.
‘‘I don’t like them,’’ Gustafsson said with a laugh, according to the Sun-Times. ‘‘It’s a fun team to play against, though. There’s always a lot of hits and scrums after every [whistle]. We have that kind of irritating [rivalry] with them, so it’s fun.’’
The Blues now must win their final two games and hope they get some help to squeak into the playoffs as the final seed in the West.
Jake Allen on Keith goal: "I should have stopped it. I let the boys down." #stlblues
— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) April 5, 2018
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