On a foggy, 46.7 degree St. Louis day, the highly anticipated 2017 Winter Classic took place. Vladimir Tarasenko and the St. Louis Blues hosted Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Just 1:02 into the game, Michael Kempy of the Hawks netted his second goal of the season. His knuckle-puck clapper bounced past Jake Allen and made it 1-0.
After one period of play, the Blues outshot the Blackhawks 8 to 6. They also led in face-offs, 11 to 6.
Patrik Berglund’s one-timer beat Corey Crawford to knot the game midway through the second. His sixth of the season was the lone goal of the period.
In the third, the ‘Tarasenkshow’ made its way outdoors.
Tarasenko entered the offensive zone on an odd-man rush. His pass caromed off of Niklas Hjalmarsson and slid across the goaline to make it 2-1 with 7:55 left in regulation.
Just 1:53 later, Vladdy tallied his second goal of the night and his 40th point of the season. His snipe was assisted by Jori Lehtera.
"The second one, my line just created a good chance for me and it's really important win for us and I'm excited about my goals," explained Tarasenko. "We have a great team, we have a great goalie, and we really needed those two points, especially against Chicago."
"Even though you're up 3-1, it's still a tight game and with their ability over on that squad," said Jake Allen.
Alexander Steen stole the puck from Duncan Keith and pumped-in an empty net goal to extend the Blues’ lead to 4-1 with less than two minutes remaining in the third period. His fourth of the season iced the cake.
Busch Stadium was packed—it was a 46,556 sell out.
"He's a hungry offensive player," said Ken Hitchcock of Tarasenko. "He's a guy that he sniffs out weaknesses or he sniffs out coverage issues and he jumps on it. And when he's engaged like he was today and like he's been for the most part of this year, he's dangerous, because he's one shift away from breaking the thing wide open."
The Blues return to the Scottrade Center Thursday, Jan. 5, where they’ll take-on the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:00 p.m.