Blackhawks batter Blues to advance
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks have cleared yet another hurdle in their quest for a second straight Stanley Cup.
For the St. Louis Blues, it was another bad moment of deja vu.
And once again, Jonathan Toews came through on the game's biggest stage.
Toews' score 44 seconds into the third period began a four-goal barrage in the final frame that carried the Blackhawks to a 5-1 Game 6 victory over the Blues that wrapped up a thrilling Western Conference quarterfinal series between the longtime rivals.
Four of the first five meetings were decided in overtime, the most recent Chicago's 3-2 triumph in Friday's Game 5 on Toews' eighth career postseason game-winner. There was no need for sudden death in Sunday's clincher, however, after St. Louis unraveled over the final 20 minutes following a dominant but frustrating second period.
Corey Crawford kept the Blues scoreless in the second despite St. Louis owning a 17-3 advantage in shots, and Toews, Patrick Sharp and Andrew Shaw all lit the lamp with the first 7 1/2 minutes of the third to turn a nail-biting contest into a blowout.
Duncan Keith tacked on another goal late for good measure and added three assists, with defense partner Brent Seabrook tallying a pair of helpers in his return from a three-game suspension for a check to the head of St. Louis captain David Backes in Game 2.
Crawford stopped 35-of-36 shots overall to once again outduel counterpart Ryan Miller, who managed just 22 saves in the Blues' fourth consecutive loss after taking the first two games in overtime.
It's the second straight year St. Louis blew a 2-0 series lead in the opening round. The Blues dropped four straight to a Los Angeles Kings team that eventually fell to the Blackhawks in the 2013 West finals.
04/27 18:02:11 ET