Blackhawks-Blues: Already Chicago’s Last Trip of Season to St. Louis

Matthew Jordan

Friday, October 26, 2018 1:49 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 1:49 PM UTC

Saturday night is already the third meeting of the year between Central Division rivals Chicago and St. Louis as they clash in the Gateway City for the last time this season.

Chicago (6-2-2) at St. Louis (2-4-3)Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+)Free NHL Pick: OverBest Line Offered: SportsBetting

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Very interesting scheduling by the NHL involving the rival Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues from the Central Division. The cities are less than 300 miles apart so one would think the games would be spread out the entire season.

However, this is their third meeting already and, amazingly, their last in St. Louis barring a playoff matchup. The teams will play again Nov. 14 and then April 3 (final week of regular season) in Chicago.

The Hawks can clinch the series with a win Saturday – when’s the last time one could say that between division rivals in October? Chicago won in St. Louis on Oct. 6, 5-4 in overtime. Jonathan Toews had a hat trick, including the winner a 2:20 of OT. He also tied it at 4-4 at 6:59 of the third. Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, and Vladimir Tarasenko two goals for the Blues. Cam Ward was in net for the Hawks and Jake Allen for St. Louis.

On Oct. 13, the Hawks set a record in a 4-3 home OT win over the Blues. That was Chicago’s fifth straight overtime game to start a season, which had never been done in the NHL. The Blackhawks blew a 2-0 first-period lead, but Alex DeBrincat tied it at 3-3 at 13:06 of the third, and DeBrincat won it at 4:51 of overtime. He was the No. 1 star. Brayden Schenn had two goals for the Blues. Ward and Allen were in net again.

As far as I can tell, the Hawks haven’t swept a season series in St. Louis since 1995-96.

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The @NHLBlackhawks got a 4-1 win over the Rangers Thursday & by scoring his team's 1st goal of the night, Jonathan Toews moved into a tie for 6th on this all-time franchise list pic.twitter.com/vCanCKfhQQ

— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) October 26, 2018
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Hawks Different Team With Crawford

The reason Ward played the first two vs. the Blues was that No. 1 Hawks netminder Corey Crawford was still recovering from a concussion that ended his 2017-18 season very early. Crawford is back now but hasn’t started three straight games yet. That makes me think it might be Ward as the last time Crawford started back-to-back games, Ward went the next time. Chicago needs to keep Crawford healthy.

On Tuesday, Crawford was terrific in a 3-1 win over the Ducks, and on Thursday just as good in a 4-1 win over the Rangers. He was the No. 1 star vs. New York. Toews had his sixth goal of the year, Kane his ninth and DeBrincat his eighth. Kane is the first Chicago player with nine goals in the first 10 games of a season since Jeremy Roenick in 1993-94. The Hawks are fourth in the league in scoring at 3.7 gpg despite ranking 28th on the power play.

St. Louis started a season-long seven-game homestand Thursday with a 7-4 loss to Columbus. Allen wasn’t good in allowing four goals on 17 shots before being pulled; he has now allowed three or more goals in seven of his eight starts. Thus, it’s likely to be backup Chad Johnson here. He allowed three goals on 11 shots in relief of Allen and is 0-2-0 with a 4.06 GAA on the season.

  • Over is 20-7 in Blackhawks last 27 road games.
  • Over is 11-2-4 in the last 17 meetings.

I actually think the Blues pull the upset here, but the ‘over’ is the best Saturday NHL pick. The Hawks are rolling offensively, while St. Louis has major problems in net and is 29th in GAA. The ‘over’ is 4-0-1 in the past five meetings in St. Louis.

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