Blues aim to stay unbeaten, host Blackhawks

10:00 AM, Oct 9, 2013   |    comments
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( - The St. Louis Blues attempt to open a season with three straight victories for the first time in 20 years on Wednesday night as they play host to the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blues, who are opening the campaign with a five-game homestand, secured their second straight 2-0 start and fourth in five seasons on Saturday with a 7-0 rout of the Florida Panthers.

Jaroslav Halak stopped all 19 shots faced for his 17th career shutout with the Blues, surpassing Glenn Hall for the most in franchise history. Hall, a Hall of Famer who also played with Detroit and Chicago, concluded his career with four seasons with the Blues from 1967-1971.

Hall appeared in 140 games with the Blues, while Halak played in his 121st game with the club.

"I know he was a great goaltender, Hall of Fame," Halak said of Hall. "He was in the league for many years and he was great. I'm glad I passed him in shutouts, but I wouldn't be able to do it without my teammates. They've been great again tonight, especially on the (penalty kill). They did a great job even though we took a few penalties, but we stuck with the game plan.

"It's a special feeling, but it's only the start of the season. We got two wins, I got one shutout, but like I said, I wouldn't be able to do it without my teammates, none of them."

Halak's 26th career shutout was backed with goals from seven different players. Brenden Morrow scored a first-period power-play goal, while Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz and Derek Roy all scored in a 3:41 span in the second. Alex Steen also scored on a penalty shot in the middle frame, while Ryan Reaves and Patrik Berglund added third-period tallies.

St. Louis outshot Florida 34-19 and will try to open a season 3-0 for the first time since 1993-94.

The Blues will go up against a Blackhawks club that is 5-1-1 in the past seven meetings and took two of three meetings in St. Louis a season ago. Both Chicago victories at Scottrade Center were shutouts, one by Corey Crawford.

The Blackhawks, who opened last season 6-0 and with an NHL-record 24-game point streak to begin the campaign, have earned points in each of their first two games this season.

Chicago began defense of its Stanley Cup title with a win over Washington on Oct. 1 before dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad scored second-period goals from the Blackhawks, but the Lightning tallied twice in the third frame and got the only goal of the shootout.

Jonathan Toews, Kane and Marian Hossa were all stopped in the tiebreaker.

Corey Crawford made 14 saves through overtime and didn't face his first shot until the second period. The 'Hawks outshot the Lightning 39-16.

"I didn't mind the way we played," said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. "We did what we wanted to do most of the night."

Both Saad and Kane have scored in each of Chicago's first two games and Saad has logged four points on the campaign.

"I thought he had a great game tonight," Quenneville said of Saad. "I thought he had the puck a lot. He was dangerous. He was a threat."

Chicago, coming off its second three-day rest period, will play its first game on the road tonight before back-to-back home games beginning on Friday versus the New York Islanders.

The Sports Network

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