Tarasenko powers Blues past Blackhawks in Winter Classic

"He sniffs out coverage issues and he jumps on it", Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said.

As usual, Tarasenko deflected the attention away from himself.

If the game is started and must be stopped before two periods have concluded, the game will be postponed and played in its entirety Tuesday at Busch Stadium. "It was kind of a weird one", said Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford of Tarasenko's second goal.

The Blues' superstar scored twice in a span of 113 seconds in the third period to snap a 1-1 tie and help St. Louis to a 4-1 win over the Blackhawks.

The father-son duo of Bobby and Brett Hull did the honors for the ceremonial face-off before the game, and it almost didn't happen because one important thing was missing: The puck.

The NHL is going outdoors ... again.

A sellout crowd of 46,556 braved rain in the first period, as temperatures hovered in the mid 40's.

Chicago's lone goal came from defenseman Michal Kempny.

Some of the sellout Winter Classic crowd waiting in line for food while keeping an eye on the game at Busch Stadium on Jan. 2 2017

Vladimir Tarasenko-whose pair of third-period goals drove the city into a frenzy-noted that despite the size of the crowd, it was actually harder than usual to feel their energy during play because of the distance from the stands to the ice at Busch.

PA Parenteau scored his fifth goal in eight games and Cory Schneider made 22 saves, leading slumping New Jersey to the victory. They also missed an opportunity to get some space from the Minnesota Wild, who are just one point behind them for first in the division and Western Conference.

"We have a great team, a great captain, great goalie", he said. "I'm just really happy we won the game, that's the best feeling".

Just 1:53 later Tarasenko would net his second of the game with a chip past Crawford's glove.

Tarasenko's second goal, however, was all his as he put the Blues up 3-1 about two minutes later.

And then in the third, Tarasenko, who had nine shots on goal and 13 attempts, was all over the place; he started it off with a breakaway but was denied by Crawford, then on the power play, snapped a shot off the near post before scoring his 17th of the season on a fortuitous bounce. Berglund one-timed the pass for his sixth goal this season.

Monday's match is the first outdoor game for the Blues. Chicago RW Marian Hossa is on the injured list with an upper-body injury and was not activated.

NOTES: St. Louis improved to 2-1-1 this season against Chicago. Chicago C Marcus Kruger has been placed on the injured list.

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