ST. LOUIS (AP)Rookie Jaxson Stauber recorded 29 saves in his NHL debut and Jason Dickinson scored a goal and two assists, leading the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-3 victory Saturday night over the St. Louis Blues.
”I’ve dreamed about this for so long that I didn’t know how it was going to feel,” said Stauber, whose parents attended the game. ”But it felt really good. I can’t put it into words. It was so awesome and exciting.”
Stauber, 23, joined Chicago on an emergency recall Thursday. Stauber signed last year after a standout career at Providence College. He’s played in 12 games this season with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League, going 6-4 with a 3.06 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage. He is the son of former NHL goaltender Robb Stauber, who played five seasons in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres.
”It thought it was great. An excellent start,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. ”He was calm and comfortable. He played the puck extremely well all night right down the the end. A real heads up game by him. He deserved the win.”
The Blackhawks have won six of their last seven games. The loss snapped the Blues’ four-game winning streak against Chicago. St. Louis had beaten the Blackhawks six straight times at home dating back to Nov. 14, 2018.
Sam Lafferty, Reese Johnson, Andreas Athanasiou and Max Domi also scored for Chicago, who had just 18 shots on goal.
”Winning is fun. It’s what we play for,” Domi said. ”It wasn’t pretty tonight but we’ll take it.”
Jordan Kyrou, Ivan Barbashev and Nick Leddy scored for St. Louis.
Chicago scored on its first two shots on goal. Dickinson scored at 10:27 of the first period on a quick-developing 2-on-1 for a 1-0 lead. The Blackhawks made it 2-0 at 13:20 with a short-handed goal by Lafferty after being fed by Dickinson for a breakaway, beating Jordan Binnington through the five-hole. Lafferty used his speed to assist on Dickinson’s goal.
”It’s obviously disappointing,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. ”Made two mistakes that shouldn’t happen and they’re both in the net and it’s 2-0. I don’t have an answer for that. I’m sorry. So we’re fighting uphill the rest of the game, and it wasn’t good enough obviously.”
Each team scored twice in the second period. Chicago went up 3-0 at 2 minutes in the second period when Johnson got behind Calle Rosen and tapped in the puck after getting a pass from Colin Blackwell. St. Louis came back less than a minute later with a power play goal when Kyrou scored on a wrist shot at 2:54. Athanasiou scored at 3:59 for a 4-1 Chicago lead.
That was it for Binnington, who allowed four goals on seven shots. Backup Thomas Greiss came in to play.
”Really tough start for us, you know,” Barbashev said. ”To give up four goals. I don’t think it was on Binnington, to be honest. We gave them real easy goals.”
St. Louis cut the lead to 4-2 when Barbashev scored on a backhander at 13:12.
Each team scored a goal in the final period. Stauber stayed calm after St. Louis closed the gap.
”I just took a few deep breaths and got some water and I got ready for the next one,” said Stauber, who kept the puck from the game as a souvenir.
Blues LW Logan Brown has been activated off injured reserve but he was a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game. … Sent C Nikita Alexandrov to AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds, ending a stint in the NHL in which he played seven games with two goals and one assist. … RW Vladimir Tarasenko (hand), D Torey Krug (lower body), D Robert Bortuzzo (lower body), D Marco Scandella (hip) all participated in the Saturday morning optional skate for the Blues. None played in the game.
Blackhawks: Host Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night.
Blues: Host Buffalo on Tuesday night.
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