Tarasenko Brace Lifts Blues To Outdoor Win Over Blackhawks

Tarasenko brace lifts Blues to outdoor win over Blackhawks

LOS ANGELES, Jan 3 (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 03rd Jan, 2017 ) - Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals within two minutes of the third period Monday to break a 1-1 tie and lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the NHL's Winter Classic outdoor game.

Tarasenko's first goal at 12:05 in the third came as his attempt at a backhanded centering pass deflected off the skate of Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and into the net. The Russian right winger's next goal, at 13:58, was more straightforward -- a wrist shot past Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford for his 18th goal of the season.

"Well, he's a hungry offensive player," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He's a guy that sniffs out weaknesses, or he sniffs out coverage issues and he jumps on it. "And when he's engaged like he was today and like he's been for most part of this year, he's dangerous because he's one shift away from breaking the thing right open." Tarasenko had two superb chances earlier in the third, but was denied by Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford on a breakaway before hitting the post while the Blues were on a power play.

It was the fifth outdoor game for the Blackhawks, the most of any team in the NHL in the showpiece events first conceived as a nod to the game's pond-hockey roots. "I thought we played great today," Hitchcock said.

"I thought we ground on them hard. I thought we did a great job getting pucks deep. I thought we really managed the game well. I thought we played a really smart, sound hockey game, and quite frankly, deserved to win." The contest at a mist-shrouded Busch Stadium, before a capacity crowd of 46,556, was the first outdoor game for the Blues.

"It's pretty cool," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said of hosting an outdoor game. "I think the first real awe was yesterday in practice, having our family on the bench and the family skate afterwards was, that was pretty cool." "We're lucky we had that, kind of got the emotional side out of the way," he added.

"And when the game got going it just pretty much felt like a normal game for us, I think. You get so into the game and playing against our biggest rival it's just business as usual." St. Louis got a final goal from Alexander Steen into an empty Blackhawks net.