(KMOV) - It appears a pep talk from Steve Ott may have given the Blues the support they needed to overcome adversity and beat the Blackhawks 4-3 Tuesday night in Chicago.
And the team needed to be refocused after a bad call by NHL referees put St. Louis on the penalty kill after Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford instigated a fight with rookie Robby Fabbri in the second period. Despite Crawford’s attack on the Blues forward and subsequent brawl that broke out after the officials handed out a goalie interference penalty to Fabbri while Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk were hit with roughing calls.
Crawford was only charged with a roughing call.
While the referees were shorting out the mess, Ott skated down the bench and called upon his teammates to fight past the tough break even after the Blackhawks scored on the ensuing power play to take a 2-1 lead.
Chicago’s Andrew Ladd put the Blues on their own power play five minutes later and the Blues capitalized when Vladimir Tarasenko scored his second goal of the game.
Then in the third the team came out roaring. The Blues went back on the power play just a minute inside the period when Duncan Keith held onto the Jori Lehtera. And in similar fashion to Game 3, Jaden Schwartz made the Hawks pay with his second goal of the series.
Almost three minutes later Alexander Steen stole a pass from Trevor van Riemsdyk and went in all alone on Crawford slipping a wrister by him putting St. Louis up 4-2 with almost 16 minutes remaining.
"I think it was just keeping our resiliency and keeping our heads down and pushing," goaltender Brian Elliott said of the team's comeback. "Steener get that unassisted breakaway it was a huge play for us."
The Blackhawks fought back getting a flukey goal from Keith, his second of the game, that bounced off Tarasenko’s stick and over Elliott and into the goal. Elliott had 39 saves on the evening.
The Blues continued to sustain pressure from the Hawks, but ran into some good luck when Andrew Shaw took a dumb interference call with 2:02 remaining in the game. And the Blues took advantage when Paul Stastny and Steen teamed up for an empty net goal, however, it was called back on an off-side that truly was off-side. The Blues were able to hold on to their one goal lead as time expired and they pushed the Blackhawks to the brink of elimination.
"We just have a belief that we can beat anybody," Ken Hitchcock described. "There's a group togetherness in there that's just strong and we're going to need it to win this series. We're going to need it every shift. We've been able to draw upon it when we need it because we had no choice for six weeks."
But before either team could leave the rink mayhem ensued as everyone on the ice, minus Elliott, grabbed a dance partner and started shoving. In the end all 11 players were awarded game misconducts that don’t carry over to the next game.
"This is fun. This is what hockey is about. This is why you coach. This is why you play. Both teams are going at it they're leaving everything on the ice," said Hitchcock.
Overall Elliott has stopped 144 of Chicago’s 151 shots in the series. Tarasenko added two more playoff goals bringing his career total to 13 goals in 17 games.
Now the series comes back to St. Louis for Game 5 Thursday night at 8:30 p.m.