April 5, 2018 / 3:19 AM / 3 months ago

Blues' last-minute loss to Blackhawks sends L.A. to playoffs

EditorsNote: updates third graf with Ducks’ win

Duncan Keith scored a power-play goal with 8.5 seconds remaining as the visiting Chicago Blackhawks rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Blues 4-3 on Wednesday night, dealing a key blow to St. Louis’ playoff hopes.

Keith one-timed a shot from the top of the right circle off a pass from Alex DeBrincat, beating Blues goalie Jake Allen on the far side for just his second goal of the season.

The loss by the Blues clinched a Western Conference playoff berth for the idle Los Angeles Kings, and the Anaheim Ducks also clinched a playoff berth by beating visiting Minnesota 3-1 later Wednesday night. The Wild are assured of finishing in third place in the Central Division thanks to St. Louis’ defeat.

St. Louis sits one point behind the Colorado Avalanche in the chase for the West’s second wild card.

St. Louis and Colorado both have two games remaining and finish the season with a head-to-head matchup on Saturday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver. The Avalanche also play Thursday night at San Jose while the Blues play at Chicago on Friday night.

Andreas Martinsen and Blake Hillman both scored their first goals of the season and DeBrincat also scored for Chicago, which won for just the third time in 10 games (3-5-2) since March 15. J-F Berube stopped 31 shots for the Blackhawks.

Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn each had a goal and an assist and Robert Bortuzzo also scored for St. Louis. Allen finished with 22 saves.

Bortuzzo gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 4:16 of the first period when he fired a wrist shot from the top of the right circle through Berube’s pads for his fourth goal.

Martinsen tied it at 8:57 of the first when he picked up a loose puck in the slot and fired a shot through Allen’s pads for his first goal since Feb. 7, 2017.

Schenn made it 2-1 just 47 seconds into the second period when he pounced on a rebound of a Vince Dunn shot in the slot for 27th goal of the season, tying his career high. Tarasenko followed with a breakaway goal off a Blackhawks turnover just five minutes later, firing a wrist shot through Berube’s pads for his 33rd goal of the season and sixth in seven games.

Chicago closed within 3-2 midway through the second period on a short-handed goal by Hillman, his first in the NHL, on a one-timer off a nice drop pass by Nick Schmaltz.

DeBrincat tied it midway through the third period with an unassisted goal when he rushed up the right side and fired a shot from the top of the right circle that went under Allen’s right arm. It was his 28th goal of the season and third in the past four games.

—Field Level Media

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