Blackhawks eliminate Blues with Game 6 win

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CHICAGO (AP) - First, it was Jonathan Toews on a power play, and then Patrick Sharp got loose on a breakaway. Andrew Shaw tipped one home, and it was all over.

One dazzling stretch for the Chicago Blackhawks put an end to their tight first-round series against the St. Louis Blues.

Duncan Keith had a goal and three assists, and the Blackhawks used a four-goal third period to finish off the Blues with a 5-1 victory in Game 6 on Sunday.

“It feels good to contribute in a big game,” Keith said, “and I think just the main thing for me is just being able to move on and get a couple days to relax and just regroup and focus on the next round.”

Chicago won four in a row after a slow start in St. Louis. The defending Stanley Cup champions will play the winner of the Minnesota-Colorado series in the Western Conference semifinals. The Avalanche lead the Wild 3-2 heading into Game 6 in Minnesota on Monday night.

Toews, Sharp and Shaw scored in the first 7½ minutes of the third and Keith closed out the scoring as the Blackhawks improved to 14-2 in home playoff games over the past two seasons.

Bryan Bickell scored in the first and Corey Crawford made 35 saves, keeping Chicago in a tie game when St. Louis controlled the second period.

“They were dominating the first 40 minutes here and we came back with maybe the best period of the year,” coach Joel Quenneville said.

T.J. Oshie scored for the Blues, who outshot the Blackhawks 36-27. Ryan Miller finished with 22 saves.

St. Louis went 0 for 6 in 10 minutes of power-play time over the first two periods, wasting a chance to take the lead. The Blues went 2 for 29 with the man advantage for the series.

“I think both the PK and (Crawford) won the game and the series ultimately,” Quenneville said. “I think that was the big factor in us getting through.”

The Blackhawks also struggled on the power play, but they scored when it mattered most.

With Jay Bouwmeester in the box for tripping, Keith made a nice stop to keep the puck in the St. Louis zone, and then sent a pass over to Toews. The captain beat Miller over his right shoulder for a 2-1 lead just 44 seconds into the third.

It was Toews‘ third game-winning goal of the series. He also scored on a breakaway in overtime of Friday night’s 3-2 win.

Toews‘ 23rd career postseason goal seemed to take the air out of the Blues, and it got even worse for St. Louis. Sharp got loose for a breakaway, shook off a stick to the face by defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and slid a shot past Miller.

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