NHL Game Summary - Chicago at St. Louis
(Tuesday, December 12th)
Final Score: Chicago 3, St. Louis 2
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Radim Vrbata had a goal and an assist, as Chicago edged St. Louis, 3-2, in Andy Murray's first game behind the bench as head coach of the Blues.
St. Louis fired Mike Kitchen on Monday and replaced him with Murray, who previously guided the Los Angeles Kings from 1999-2006 and ranks first in Kings history in both wins (215) and games coached (480).
Kitchen, who was named head coach in February of 2004, led the Blues to the worst record in the Western Conference at the time of his firing.
Veteran forward Peter Bondra, who Chicago signed to a contract on Sunday, scored in his first game with the Blackhawks, who scored three goals in the third period in a span of 2:04.
Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin turned aside 19 shots for Chicago, which has won two straight.
St. Louis goaltender Marek Schwarz made his first-career start and allowed three goals on 24 shots.
Christian Backman had a goal and an assist for the Blues, who have dropped a season-high eight straight.
Trailing 1-0, Chicago tallied three goals in the final frame to take control of the contest.
The Blackhawks cashed in on a two-man advantage and scored two quick goals to take a 2-1 lead early in the third period.
With Keith Tkachuk and Jay McKee in the box for the Blues, Bondra's goal evened the score at 1-1. James Wisniewski controlled the puck along the left boards and centered the disc to Bondra in the slot and his one-timer sailed over Schwarz's glove. Just 30 seconds later, Vrbata tallied his sixth goal of the season to put the Blackhawks in front.
Less than two minutes after Vrbata's goal, Chicago struck again to take a two- goal advantage. Vrbata raced into the St. Louis zone up the left wing and feathered a pass to Jeff Hamilton in the left circle and his one-timer found the back of the net.
With 1:27 left in the contest, St. Louis pulled to within a goal after Doug Weight tallied a power-play goal.
Schwarz was pulled for an extra attacker with under a minute to play, but St. Louis could not net the equalizer.
After a scoreless first period, the Blues tallied at the 15:18 mark of the second stanza. Petr Cajanek centered a pass to Backman in the slot and his slap shot beat a screened Khabibulin to make it 1-0.
Chicago is 3-2 against St. Louis this season...Bondra now has 499 career goals...The Blackhawks finished 2-for-6 on the power play while the Blues went 1-for-3 on the man advantage...St. Louis has lost six straight home games.
12/12 22:53:38 ET