Blackhawks lose to Blues 3-2 in St. Louis

To judge from the talk that swirled around this game before the puck dropped, you would've thought that it was the first round of the playoffs.

It's good to remember that it's still early in the season, but the game atmosphere in St. Louis tonight was definitely highly-charged. The home crowd was loud; the on-ice energy intense.

Vladimir Tarasenko opened the scoring first, putting the Blues on the board 15:44 into the first period.

The Blackhawks would even things up with a power play goal just 75 seconds later by Patrick Kane, giving him his third goal in as many games.

Chicago's fortunes have nearly reversed on the PK and PP this year; the Blackhawks power play has been clicking, but their penalty kill has plummeted to the worst in the league. The trend continued as David Backes put in a PPG at 8:37 in the second period.

Jaden Schwartz put the Blues on their own PK immediately after his team's second goal; it took Jonathan Toews all of 15 seconds to convert that to a PPG for a tie game, 2-2.

The third period got chippy. Vladimir Sobotka hit Niklas Hjalmarsson awkwardly along the boards; Jonathan Toews took exception. Some tempers flared and both teams received a pair of matching roughing penalties.

St. Louis got a 3-on-1 after cutting off a Blackhawks pass; Alexander Steen scored to make it 3-2 with just 21.1 seconds left.

Three stars of the game:
1) Jaroslav Halak - STL
2) Vladimir Tarasenko - STL
3) Jaden Schwartz - STL

The Blackhawks head back to Chicago, where they will host the New York Islanders (2-0-1) on Friday night at 7 p.m. CDT. Watch on CSN-Chicago and NHL-Network.

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Follow our Blackhawks writers via @TCLBlackhawks; you can follow me at @Hockeybroad.