CHICAGO – Patrik Berglund scored three times, including a tiebreaking rebound goal in the third period, and the St. Louis Blues moved into position for the last Western Conference wild card with a 4-1 victory over the Blackhawks on Friday night.
Carter Hutton made 19 saves as St. Louis stopped a three-game slide that included a 4-3 home loss to the Hawks on Wednesday night on Duncan Keith’s power-play goal with 8.5 seconds left. Jaden Schwartz also scored in the third after an ugly turnover by the Hawks.
The Blues (44-31-6) moved one point ahead of the idle Avalanche (42-30-9) heading into their finale Saturday night in Colorado. St. Louis has won three of four against Colorado this season.
Erik Gustafsson scored for the Hawks, and Jean-Francois Berube made 31 saves. The last-place Hawks (33-38-10) finished with an 18-18-5 record at home.
Veteran forward Patrick Sharp got the start in what was likely his final game at the United Center with the Hawks. The 36-year-old Sharp, who has 10 goals and 11 assists in his 15th NHL season, is considering retirement.
The team honored Sharp with a highlight video in the third period, and he waved his stick and tapped his heart to acknowledge the sustained roar from what was left of the announced crowd of 22,218. He took another spin around the rink after the game was over and waved as the crowd cheered again.
Berglund redirected a shot by Joel Edmundson past Berube with 1:43 left in the first period. The Blues carried the 1-0 lead into the third, but Gustafsson whipped a wrist shot by Hutton on the stick side at 8:08.
Only 16 seconds later, Berglund swept in from the side and poked home a rebound for his 16th of the season. After Brayden Schenn set up Schwartz’s one-timer at 12:40, Berglund added an empty-netter to complete his second career hat trick.
The Hawks honored Hall of Fame forward Stan Mikita with “One More Shift” before the game. The 77-year-old Mikita, who is the franchise’s career leader in games played, points and assists and is second in goals to Bobby Hull, has a brain disorder called Lewy body dementia, so his three grandsons represented him on the ice for the national anthem.
Hawks captain Jonathan Toews missed his seventh straight game with an upper-body injury. Anthony Duclair (lower body), John Hayden (upper body) and Tomas Jurco (illness) also were scratched, and the Hawks went with seven defensemen.
The Blues scratched goaltender Jake Allen, and Ville Husso was the backup for Hutton. Allen is expected to start against the Avalanche in the regular-season finale.
Blues: Visit Colorado on Saturday night.
Hawks: Visit Winnipeg on Saturday night.