The Blackhawks are moving on.
Thanks to four third-period goals, the Hawks dismantled the Blues in a 5-1 victory in Game 6 of their opening-round playoff matchup and claim the series 4-2. The Hawks will advance to play the winner of the Wild-Avalanche series, which the Avalanche lead 3-2.
The Hawks didn’t waste much time putting the game away. Just 44 seconds into the period, Jonathan Toews took a pass from Duncan Keith and beat Blues goaltender Ryan Miller to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead.
Then at 2:01, Patrick Sharp was the victim of a high stick but still managed to score on a breakaway as the puck slid off his stick past Miller to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead.
Andrew Shaw all but ended at 7:30 after he redirected a Keith shot from the point. To make sure it was a over, Keith put in a 2-on-1 breakaway after getting a pass from Andrew Shaw at 17:08.
The third period was a far cry from the second, in which the Blues outshot the Hawks 17-3 and the Hawks were on their heels because of a barrage of penalties, including a four-minute double minor on Marian Hossa for high sticking. But the Hawks penalty kill held firm, despite one shaky moment where the puck trickled along the goal line only to not cross it.
The Blues finished 0-for-6 on the power play.
Defenseman Brent Seabrook made his return from a three-game suspension for his hard hit on Blues captain David Backes in Game 2 and helped set up the Hawks first goal of the game.
Seabrook fired a shot from near the blue line that was going high until Bryan Bickell deflected the puck into the net to give the Hawks an early 1-0 lead at 4:12.
The Blackhawks controlled the action for much of the first, but the Blues turned the tide later in the period when Alexander Steen emerged from behind the net and found T.J. Oshie in front. Oshie one-timed the puck through Corey Crawford’s legs to tie the score 1-1 at 16:28.
Backes and Seabrook exchanged pleasantries with a little over six minutes in the period when Backes crunched Seabrook into the boards. There was no extracurricular activity after the play, just a clean hit from Backes.
In a surprise move, coach Joel Quenneville benched Kris Versteeg in favor of Joakim Nordstrom even though Versteeg skated with the fourth line during warmups