Sat, Dec 9, 2023 11:43 PM
By TIM CRONIN, Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Beauvillier, Alex Vlasic and Jason Dickinson scored, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 on Saturday night for their first back-to-back wins of the season.
It was Beauvillier’s first goal in his fourth game since he was acquired in a Nov. 28 trade with Vancouver. It was Vlasic’s first goal since April 20, 2022, at Arizona and No. 2 for his career.
“We’ve been talking the whole year about how we win one and we lose one,” Vlasic said. “Getting two wins in a row gives us confidence; a step in the right direction.”
Chicago hadn’t won consecutive games since March against Boston and Nashville. Coupled with Tuesday night’s overtime loss against the Predators, the Blackhawks also have points in three straight games for the first time this season.
“We really needed this to build some momentum at home,” Chicago coach Luke Richardson said. “It’s important for the culture around here.”
Oskar Sundqvist scored a short-handed goal in the third period for St. Louis, which has dropped three in a row for the first time this season. Jordan Binnington made 21 stops.
“I feel we just pick and choose when we want to turn up the intensity in hockey games,” Blues captain Brayden Schenn said. “You’re not going to win like that in this league. (Against) the teams below us in the standings, we feel like we don’t have to start on time.”
Chicago goaltender Petr Mrazek finished with 38 saves. He had 37 stops in a 1-0 victory over Anaheim on Thursday night.
“I saw the puck really well, especially early,” Mrazek said. “That gets you going. When you see the puck early, it makes the job easier. You kinda think about (the shutout), but that’s the game. It’s totally fine.
“We wanted (consecutive) wins earlier in the season, that’s for sure, but couldn’t get them. Let’s make it three tomorrow.”
Mrazek’s pair of saves on defenseman Justin Faulk in the final period, one from the doorstep and another from the high slot, were the best chances for St. Louis before Sundqvist scored his third goal of the season with 3:29 to play.
Sundqvist’s shot appeared to deflect off Vlasic’s stick on the way by Mrazek.
Chicago jumped in front when Beauvillier was credited with his third goal 4:43 into the first period. Beauvillier had a Nikita Zaitsev shot go off his sleeve and over Binnington’s right shoulder.
Vlasic made it 2-0 at 9:20 when his screened 55-foot wrist shot eluded Binnington, who was too late with his glove. Rookie defenseman Louis Crevier picked up an assist for his first NHL point in his third game.
Dickinson’s uncontested deflection of Vlasic’s pinpoint pass extended the lead to 3-0 at 14:53 of the second period. Binnington was caught looking the wrong way through a screen and couldn’t slide over to stop Dickinson’s ninth goal of the season, and seventh in the last nine games.
“In the first period, our intensity wasn’t high enough,” Blues coach Craig Breube said. “We didn’t win any puck battles. Execution with the puck: poor. We changed that in the second and the third, but you’re down 3-0. It’s tough.”
Blackhawks rookie defenseman Kevin Korchinski missed the game because of what the team called a family situation.
Blues: Host Detroit on Tuesday night.
Blackhawks: Host Washington on Sunday night.
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