Blues forward David Perron scored in his first game back after missing 97 due to a concussion, but the Blues gave up two power play goals and a shorthanded goal to Chicago losing 5-2 Saturday night on home ice. The Hawks (16-8-3), who lost here 3-0 in Blues coach Ken Hitchcock’s first game on Nov. 8.
The Hawks were ready to show the Blues what it takes to become a top team in the Western Conference. “Chicago sent us a message,” Hitchcock said. “They’re a veteran, seasoned playoff-ready team. When you’re that type of team, you win the dots-to-board battles, and they won the dots to boards. They won those battles. They came up with more loose pucks, they won more stick fights, they won more battles in front of each net … that’s the difference. They knew the sense of urgency. You can see it from the face-off dots to the boards all around the rink. Against a team that’s dialed up … they treated it like a playoff game because that’s as hard (and) a competitive game as we’ve had against us since I’ve been here. They really came to play.”
Jonathan Toews (one goal, one assist), Marian Hossa (two goals), Patrick Sharp (one goal, one assist) and Duncan Keith (two assists) helped key Chicago’s offense against Blues netminder Brian Elliott, who came in 10-1 on the season and allowed more than two goals in a game for the first time in 12 starts.
Perron’s goal came just 6:21 into the game when he tucked in a shot just under the crossbar over goalie Ray Emery’s glove to give the Blues a 1-0 lead. The Hawks were 2-for-3 on the power play, their last-ranked penalty killing team stopped the Blues on all four attempts and Hossa scored a short-handed goal that tied the game 2-2 in the second period after Chris Stewart had given the Blues a 2-1 lead.