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National Hockey League
Preview
Chicago at St. Louis
When: 9:30 PM ET, Thursday, April 21, 2016
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri

After losing in the first round in each of the last three years, the St. Louis Blues have a chance to oust the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks from the playoffs when the Central Division rivals play Game 5 in the Gateway City on Thursday. Vladimir Tarasenko increased his series point total to five (three goals, two assists) and his playoff goal tally to 13 in 17 career games after he scored twice and added an assist in Tuesday's 4-3 victory.

"I don't know if it's just Chicago; we have the belief that we can beat anybody," coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters after St. Louis seized a 3-1 advantage in the series. Andrew Shaw collected one goal and two assists, but the Blackhawks' first-line forward's costly interference penalty late in the third period sealed his team's fate on Tuesday. The 24-year-old compounded his problems by making an inappropriate gesture toward an official and mouthing a homophobic slur toward someone on the ice in full view of television cameras - actions for which he apologized the following day. The Blackhawks said they were "extremely" disappointed by the incident and the league took action by suspending Shaw for Game 5, issuing a $5,000 fine and ordering him to undergo sensitivity training.

TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVAS, SN, CSN Chicago, FSN Midwest (St. Louis)

ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS: While Shaw is set to serve his one-game suspension, defenseman Duncan Keith has scored three goals and set up another since completing his six-game ban for a hit on Minnesota's Charlie Coyle. "We know it takes four to win a series, so we're going to do everything we can to make sure we have our best game. We have to," Keith told reporters. "We're facing elimination and we've got to leave it all out on the ice." Keith's four points have him tied for the team lead with Shaw (two goals, two assists) as well as Patrick Kane (four assists), who joins captain Jonathan Toews and veteran Marian Hossa in search of their first goal in the series.

ABOUT THE BLUES: After failing to record a point in his last four regular-season contests in addition to the series opener, Jaden Schwartz has gotten hot in a hurry with an assist in Game 2, a goal in Game 3 and one of each on Tuesday. "We're going to have to (overcome adversity) to beat this team," the 23-year-old Schwartz told reporters. "We're going to have to find a way to come back when we're down, find a way to get some insurance goals ... do all the little things. We're enjoying battling for each other right now." Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk also has recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in the series and has at least one in eight of his last 10 games.

OVERTIME

1. St. Louis G Brian Elliott has stopped 144-of-151 shots in the series.

2. Chicago is trailing 3-1 in a series for the first time since the 2014 Western Conference final. The Blackhawks lost that series to Los Angeles following an overtime loss in Game 7.

3. The Blues were denied on their first five power-play opportunities in the series before scoring twice with the man advantage in both Games 3 and 4.

PREDICTION: Blackhawks 4, Blues 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Chicago 48-28-8-2 L2 26-13-3-1 22-15-5-1 6-2-0-0 42-26-8-2 14-14-3-2
St. Louis 52-25-5-4 W2 25-14-3-1 27-11-2-3 4-3-0-0 48-22-5-4 22-8-1-2
Last Meeting
Chicago St. Louis
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
4/19/16 STL 4 CHI 3 42 16 1-2 20 39 2-4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Chicago A. Shaw 3
St. Louis V. Tarasenko 3
Goals Player  
Chicago D. Keith 2
St. Louis V. Tarasenko 2
Assists Player  
Chicago A. Shaw 2
St. Louis K. Shattenkirk 2
Saves Player  
Chicago C. Crawford 16
St. Louis B. Elliott 39
Season
Total Points Player  
Chicago P. Kane 113
St. Louis V. Tarasenko 86
Goals Player  
Chicago P. Kane 48
St. Louis V. Tarasenko 47
Assists Player  
Chicago P. Kane 65
St. Louis P. Stastny 40
Saves Player  
Chicago C. Crawford 1722
St. Louis B. Elliott 1234
Quickchart Matchup
Chicago Off vs  St. Louis Def
2.81 GF
2.38 GA
30.8 Shots
30.1 Shots
60 PP
44 PK
St. Louis Off vs  Chicago Def
2.66 GF
2.52 GA
30 Shots
30.6 Shots
55 PP
50 PK