When the St. Louis Blues took the ice on Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks, they were doing so for the first time with Ken Hitchcock coaching the team. He took over that role on Monday, replacing former coach Davis Payne after the team's less-than-stellar start. For at least one night that coaching move looks genius, as the Blues shut out the Blackhawks while beating the Central division leaders 3-0 on Tuesday.
It was a generally underwhelming performance by the Blackhawks, who drop to 8-4-3 this year. It's the first time they've been shut out this season, and a third consecutive loss for a team that's hoping to return to the Stanley Cup Finals after a one-year absence. They're still in first place in the Central, but they're leads on Detroit and Nashville are dwindling, and they've dropped to third in the Western Conference in point total.
Chicago actually out shot St. Louis on Tuesday, targeting the goal 29 times to the Blues' 26 times, but they were responded to with an impressive performance by St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak. Halak saved all 29 shots that came his way, his first shut out of the season as he tries to get back into form after a rough start to the year. St. Louis moves to 7-7-0 this season, still in fourth place in the Central.
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