ST. LOUIS (AP)Zach Sanford was in the right spot when the St. Louis Blues needed it most.
Sanford had career-high nine shots on goal and finished with two goals and an assist, helping to rally the Blues to a wild 6-5 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
Sanford scored the tiebreaking goal on a power play with at 13:35 of the third period.
”It was a bouncing puck and it was sitting right there for me,” Sanford said of the winner. ”I was just trying to put it on net and it found its way in.”
It was the fourth goal of the final frame for the Blues, who trailed 3-2 after two periods.
”When you’re in those seesaw games, its always close to see who gets the last goal,” Sanford said. ”You’re always on the edge of your seat.”
St. Louis has won five consecutive games. The Blues have won all three regular-season games against Chicago. In the Dec. 14 game in St. Louis, Chicago led 3-0 after two periods, but lost 4-3.
Justin Faulk, Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Schenn and Robert Thomas also scored for St. Louis. Thomas, David Perron, Jaden Schwartz each added two assists.
Thomas had the assist on the game-winning goal.
”I tried to bump it to him there, but it exploded off my stick and hit my foot and it ended up on his stick,” Thomas said. ”A lucky bounce for us. He had a great one-timer there. He was in the right spot.”
Brandon Saad, Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane scored power-play goals. Chicago entered last in the league in power-play efficiency at 14.2 percent. It’s the first time this season the Blackhawks have scored three power-play goals in a game. Connor Murphy and Matthew Highmore also scored for Chicago.
””They’re a good team,” Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton said of the Blues. ”They test you. They’re a big team. They’re a heavy team. They contest every puck, and they wear on you, We played hard for for a lot of the game.”
Jordan Binnington had 25 saves in winning his fourth straight for the Blues. Corey Crawford recorded 31 saves for Chicago.
St. Louis scored two goals 16 seconds apart in the third period to take a 4-3 lead. O’Reilly slid the puck past Crawford at 3:47, and then Sanford scored at 4:03.
”Not every game is going to be 2-1 or 1-0 even though we’d like it to be,” Sanford said. ”You have to win games like this. We can win any kind of game.”
The lead didn’t last long. Chicago came right back when Highmore put back a rebound at to tie it 4-4 at 5:16. Saad scored Chicago’s third power-play goal at 8:16 for a 5-4 advantage. He scored on a one-timer off a pass from Dylan Strome.
Faulk scored for St. Louis on a deflection to tie the game 5-all.
”You don’t like to give up that many goals, but it happens sometimes,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. ”Guys stuck with it. They did a good job. We got a goal and that changed everything. You’ve got to win games a lot of different ways throughout the season and this is one of them. I thought Chicago played a heck of a game.”
The Blackhawks erased a 1-0 lead, scoring three unanswered goals, including two on the power play, to go up 3-1.
Keith tied the game 1-1 for Chicago on a power-play goal at 10:55. Keith, a second-round draft pick in 2002, scored his 100th goal on a slap shot from the top of the slot. It was Keith’s second goal this season.
”You know, It’s always nice to contribute and get points. It’s obviously nice to get a milestone but it is what it is,” Keith said. ”It doesn’t really matter. I don’t care right now. So that sort of is always better in a win and that didn’t happen tonight.””
The power-play goal broke a 16-for-16 penalty kill streak by the Blues. It was the first goal St. Louis had given up on home ice in 146 minutes, 56 seconds.
Chicago made it 2-1 when Murphy scored on a wrist shot from just inside the blue line at 14:09.
The Blackhawks scored on a power play 1:13 into the second period for a 3-1 lead. Kane snapped a wrist shot from the left circle for his 28th goal of the season. Kane has 64 career points in 66 career games against St. Louis, the most he’s had against any opponent.
”Give them some credit, they have great players that are are always making plays that we just have to be more responsible and find a way to kind of not let them generate as much,” O’Reilly said. ”That’s not really our style, but I feel at the end of the day, we got two points and a big win for us.”
Chicago fell to 18-3-3 when leading after two periods. Two of those losses were to the Blues in St. Louis.
Chicago defenseman Nick Seeler was called for tripping 11 seconds into the game and St. Louis pounced. Schenn scored his 22nd goal of the season on wrist shot from the right circle for a power-play goal at 33 seconds. Thomas scored his 10th goal on a wrist shot from the left circle at 7:38 of the second period to cut the Chicago lead to 3-2.
Perron assisted on the first two St. Louis goals, giving him 200 for his career.
NOTES: The Blues on Tuesday recalled forward Troy Brouwer from the San Antonio Rampage, the team’s American Hockey League affiliate. The 34-year-old Brouwer was signed by the Blues as a free agent on Nov. 20, 2019. … Blackhawks forward Zack Smith (back) did not play against St. Louis. … Chicago G Malcolm Subban was active and in uniform for his first game since being acquired from Vegas on Monday. … Blackhawks D Lucas Carlsson was a healthy scratch. Seeler got the start. … the Blues improved to 28-1-8 when they score the first goal.
Blackhawks: At Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Blues: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday.
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