St. Louis, MO – Corey Crawford made 30 saves for his third shutout of the season and the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues, 2-0, on Sunday.
Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa scored for the Blackhawks, who have won five in a row and sit nine points ahead of the Anaheim Ducks for first place in the West. Chicago is also four points in front of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the race for the best record in the NHL.
Brian Elliott stopped 24-of-26 shots for the Blues, who have dropped two straight since a six-game winning streak. His shutout streak ended at 214:00.
St. Louis holds the sixth spot in the conference with 48 points, just one back of the San Jose Sharks in the standings.
"They don't quit, they play the right way," Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "Their top line guys are playing the right way; they're playing hard. We put in a strong effort but it obviously wasn't enough."
At the 4:31 mark of the second period, Bickell put home his own rebound on a rush to stop Elliott's shutout streak.
Hossa added a short-handed goal at the 6:34 mark of the third. Following a faceoff win by Jonathan Toews, Hossa beat Elliott with a slap shot from the top of the right circle.
Crawford made 12 saves in the third frame to secure the victory.
"This team is a good test for us for playoff-style hockey. They play hard. They're physical," Crawford said. "It just seems like they're all over the ice, but we didn't play into their game. We let them do their thing."
Chicago leads the season series by a 3-1 margin. The Blackhawks will visit the Blues again on April 27 to close the regular season ... St. Louis started a four-game homestand on Sunday ... Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland returned to the lineup after missing four games with a lower-body injury ... Blues forward Scott Nichol (lower body) missed the game ... It was the eighth career shutout for Crawford ... Elliott had three straight shutouts.