ST. LOUIS (AP) — Vladimir Tarasenko asserted that the St. Louis Blues were a better team than the one that had dropped seven of its first nine games following a 7-4 loss Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets
Tarasenko followed up Saturday night by scoring two goals, and Ryan O’Reilly and Zach Sanford each had three points as the Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3 to snap a two-game skid.
“This is really emotional for us,” Tarasenko said. “Everyone understands how important this game was.”
Tyler Bozak converted a pass from Oskar Sundqvist for his second goal of the season to put St. Louis up 4-2.
Jake Allen stopped 16 of 19 shots before exiting with 1:01 remaining in the second period after Sanford collided with him, shoving him into his own net. Chad Johnson entered in relief and stopped all five shots he faced.
Allen improved to 3-2-3 this season. Blues coach Mike Yeo did not have an update on Allen’s status after the game.
Corey Crawford allowed six goals on 36 shots and fell to 3-2-0.
“Obviously, they were disappointed with what’s gone on here and they had a good response,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We were still right in the hockey game, though. Had some decent looks there in the third when we had the puck in our end. We had some good looks, but we gave up too much around our net.”
Patrick Kane scored a pair of goals and added an assist to give him 59 points in 60 career regular-season games against St. Louis. His second goal of the game came when he took a pass from Artem Anisimov to cut Chicago’s deficit to 4-3 and push himself into the NHL lead with 11 goals on the season.
Tarasenko put the Blues ahead for good in the second when he scored his third of the season with Erik Gustafsson in the penalty box to give St. Louis a 3-2 lead.
Tarasenko added some insurance when he pushed an Alex Pietrangelo rebound past Crawford for his fourth of the season. Tarasenko has three goals in his last two games after going scoreless in his previous six.
St. Louis added goals from Pietrangelo and Alexander Steen late in the third period to outscore Chicago 3-0 in the final stanza. It marks the first time St. Louis has held its opponent scoreless in the third period this season.
“We just want to stay aggressive, that’s aggressive defensively, aggressive offensively,” Yeo said. “We’ve been pressing for wins, and with that it’s kind of human nature that mentally you kind of get scared to lose if things aren’t going bad.”
Sanford put St. Louis ahead 2-1 when he scored his third goal in just his fifth game since being recalled from the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage on Oct. 15 for his first NHL action since the 2016-2017 season. He added a pair of assists to give him his first career three-point game.
“I got a great opportunity, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of taking advantage of it,” Sanford said. “My linemates have been a great help, the whole team as well.”
O’Reilly opened the scoring for St. Louis just 18 seconds into the game with his third goal of the season.
Kane followed with his first of the game 3:29 later to tie it 1-all.
NOTES: O’Reilly extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists). … D Jay Bouwmeester had an assist to give him 400 career points, and 100 with the Blues. … Kane also extended his point streak to five games (six goals, three assists). … Chicago lost its first Saturday game after starting the season 3-0-0.
Blackhawks: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night.
Blues: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.