Duncan Keith helps the Blackhawks play spoilers against the Blues
ST. LOUIS – It’s a role they are unfamiliar with, certainly, but so far they’re doing OK.
Being a spoiler can be sweet, even for a team that’s missing the playoffs for the first time in a decade, especially the way they did it on Wednesday night.
Down by two goals in the second period, the Blackhawks rallied to even the game up in the third before Duncan Keith played the hero. Well, maybe the spoiler on this night.
The defenseman’s goal with eight seconds left gave Chicago a 4-3 win and put the Blues on their heels for a possible playoff berth. Oh, and that score was just the second of the season in a rough offensive campaign for Keith, but was it a dagger to St. Louis.
Trailing the Avalanche by a point for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, the Blues now face the task of winning their final two games against the Sharks then at Colorado. Without wins in both, including the return game against the Blackhawks at the United Center on Friday, and the Blues are likely out of the playoffs for the first time since the 2010-2011 season.
It’s a bright spot for Keith in a down offensive year where he would finish with a career-low in goals unless he gets two scores in the final two games. His 32 points are 21 off his pace from the 2017-2018 season despite playing in nearly as many games.
But the shot the got past Jake Allen in the final ten seconds is a positive memory, one that came from a Blackhawks’ comeback led by youngsters. Blake Hillman got his first career goal in the second period to pull the Blackhawks within one and then it was Alex DeBrincat who tied the game 11:30 to go with his 28th score of the season.
Add in Keith’s goal, and it ended up a strong night of spoiling for the Blackhawks, who can cherish making life difficult for their rival for a least two days.