Goalie Corey Crawford made 27 saves in leading the Blackhawks to a 2-1 overtime win over the Blues Wednesday night at Scottrade Center. (Scott Rovak/St. Louis Blues) 

By Rob Rains

The Chicago Blackhawks got some help from an unexpected source Wednesday night en route to winning their seventh consecutive game.

Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was called for delay of game with just 1:36 to go in the third period of a 1-1 game at Scottrade Center and there were 24 seconds remaining in the penalty when the game went into overtime.

That gave the Blackhawks a 4-on-3 advantage and let them set up the winning goal from Artemi Panarin, which came just one second after the penalty had expired and before Pietrangelo could rejoin the play.

“We’ve been in a lot of those games, close the whole way,” said coach Joel Quenneville. “We seem to always find a way to get two points at the end of the night. “

The 2-1 win improved the Blackhawks record to 4-1 this season in games decided in overtime or a shootout.

“It’s a tough way to lose,” Pietrangelo said. “I feel really bad right now - tough to take a penalty there in the last minute. It's a lonely feeling sitting in that box, let me tell you. I thought we did a good job crawling our way back and getting a point out of it.

"Just get the puck out of our end. Sometimes the puck rolls. I'm not trying to flip it over the glass. … It's tough when you come out of the box and they score. You're sitting in that box and all you can think of is, 'Guys are trying to bail me out.' That's on me, it's a tough penalty to take. I've got to find a way not to take that penalty."

Just 35 seconds before he was sent to the penalty box, Pietrangelo had tied the game on a shot with 2:11 to go in the third period. Jori Lehtera was in front of the net and the Blackhawks challenged that he had interfered with goalie Corey Crawford, but the goal was allowed to stand.

Crawford had protected the 1-0 lead since Marian Hossa scored his seventh goal of the year, and sixth in his last seven games, just 1:22 into the second period.
Hossa’s goal came after Blues goalie Jake Allen stopped a shot by defenseman Gustav Forsling, but the rebound kicked out directly to Hossa.

Crawford has been as hot as the Blackhawks of late, having allowed only four goals over his last five games. He made 27 saves against the Blues.

“I’m in a good spot right now,” Crawford said. “I feel good. I’m reading plays well. I’m patient when I have to be and aggressive when it’s time.”

Defenseman Brent Seabrook said Crawford’s play has been the catalyst for the winning streak. Crawford has been in goal for six of the seven wins.

“He's been phenomenal,” Seabrook said. “I think for our group he's been the back bone and getting the job done. Tonight he made some unbelievable saves on the kill and one huge one in the third but he gives us the confidence to play back there and gives us a chance to win every night and that's all you can ask for.”

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was not critical of Pietrangelo’s penalty in particular, but cited a recent string of third-period penalties which have been costly to the Blues. They had three minor penalties in the final period Wednesday night.

“We’re taking way too many penalties when the game is on the line,” Hitchcock said. “We’re having to extend a lot of injury with a short bench. Two games in a row we took three penalties in the third period. It’s not a good recipe.”

The leading scorer in the NHL, Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov, had to leave the game in the second period because of an upper-body injury. Quenneville was not specific after the nature of Anisimov’s injury and said his status was day to day. Anisimov had scored eight goals and added nine assists in his last 11 games.

NOTES: Defenseman Petteri Lindbohm made his season debut after he was recalled from Chicago of the AHL to replace Joel Edmundson. Edmundson suffered an upper-body injury Sunday and will miss at least three weeks. ... The Blues were 0-for-3 on the power-play and have scored only one power-play goal in their last 24 chances over their past seven games … The Blues left after the game to fly to Nashville, where they take on the Predators on Thursday night. Hitchcock would not commit to playing either Allen or Carter Hutton in goal.