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Blackhawks batter Blues to advance

Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks have cleared yet another hurdle in their quest for a second straight Stanley Cup.

For the St. Louis Blues, it was another bad moment of deja vu.

And once again, Jonathan Toews came through on the game's biggest stage.

Toews' score 44 seconds into the third period began a four-goal barrage in the final frame that carried the Blackhawks to a 5-1 Game 6 victory over the Blues that wrapped up a thrilling Western Conference quarterfinal series between the longtime rivals.

Four of the first five meetings were decided in overtime, the most recent Chicago's 3-2 triumph in Friday's Game 5 on Toews' eighth career postseason game-winner. There was no need for sudden death in Sunday's clincher, however, after St. Louis unraveled over the final 20 minutes following a dominant but frustrating second period.

Corey Crawford kept the Blues scoreless in the second despite St. Louis owning a 17-3 advantage in shots, and Toews, Patrick Sharp and Andrew Shaw all lit the lamp within the first 7 1/2 minutes of the third to turn a nail- biting contest into a blowout.

"They were dominating the first 40 minutes and we came back with maybe our best period of the year," said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville.

Duncan Keith tacked on another goal late for good measure and added three assists, with defense partner Brent Seabrook tallying a pair of helpers in his return from a three-game suspension for a check to the head of St. Louis captain David Backes in Game 2.

Crawford stopped 35-of-36 shots overall to once again outduel counterpart Ryan Miller, who managed just 22 saves in the Blues' fourth consecutive loss after taking the first two games in overtime.

It's the second straight year St. Louis blew a 2-0 series lead in the opening round. The Blues dropped four straight to a Los Angeles Kings team that eventually fell to the Blackhawks in the 2013 West finals.

They appeared poised to force a Game 7 after peppering Crawford all throughout the middle session, but the Chicago netminder was up to the challenge to virtually single-handedly keep the score deadlocked at 1-1 heading into the third.

Chicago then showed its championship pedigree, capitalizing on its scoring chances to leave no doubt of the final outcome.

Keith, whose heady outlet pass led to Toews' winner in Game 5, saved the puck in the Blues' zone to set up the go-ahead marker in this one as well. He quickly fed Toews in the right circle, where the star center skated into the slot and fired a well-placed attempt into the upper left corner as Miller went low.

It was a 3-1 lead a mere 77 seconds later, as Sharp blocked a Kevin Shattenkirk shot to create a breakaway in which the Blackhawks' sniper slipped a shot underneath Miller while being hooked from behind.

"We played a great first two periods, but I thought the third goal ... you could see a big sag on the team after that," said Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock.

Chicago didn't let up, with Keith rocketing a shot that landed right on Shaw's stick as the latter was stationed to the right of Miller at the 7:30 mark. The two teamed up again for the final goal, where Miller overplayed Shaw's pass on a 2-on-1 rush and Keith tapped the puck into a wide-open left side with 2:55 remaining.

Toews, also credited with the deciding goal in the Blackhawks' pivotal 2-0 win in Game 3, broke the franchise record he had shared with Jeremy Roenick with his ninth career postseason game-winner.

Chicago now awaits the winner of the Colorado-Minnesota series, which the Avalanche hold a 3-2 edge heading into Monday's Game 6 in St. Paul.

Both clubs scored once during an evenly played opening period, with Bryan Bickell giving Chicago a 1-0 lead 4:12 in by redirecting a long wrist shot from Seabrook following an extended stay by the Blackhawks in St. Louis' end.

The Blues drew even with 3:32 left in the frame. Crawford made the initial stop on a drive by Jay Bouwmeester, but Alexander Steen cradled the rebound and sent a behind-the-net wraparound pass that T.J. Oshie knocked home from in close.

Game Notes

The team that scored first won all six matchups in the series ... The Blues have now lost 11 of their last 12 playoff series that were tied 2-2 ... Chicago is now 11-2 since 2009 in playoff games it can clinch the series ... St. Louis finished 0-for-6 on the power play and was just 2-for-29 with the man advantage for the series ... Seabrook logged six points (two goals, four assists) in the three games he appeared in.

04/27 20:55:48 ET

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Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
Final
WASH 10
ARST 24
Final
HAW 18
NEV 26
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
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HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
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TAM
MIN
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SEA
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STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14