Tarasenko powers Blues to 2-1 win over Blackhawks

Vladimir Tarasenko scored his second goal of the game at 3:37 of overtime, and the St. Louis Blues cooled off the Chicago Blackhawks with a 2-1 victory Thursday night in a possible playoff preview.

Tarasenko also tied it with 1:16 left in regulation with a laser from the left circle on a rebound attempt off a shot from Kevin Shattenkirk. His team-best 39th goal was an easy one, with Alex Pietrangelo making a nice pass to set up an open net for the winner.

St. Louis (49-23-9) won for the eighth time in nine games to remain tied with Dallas for the Central Division lead. The Stars, who beat Colorado 4-2 on Thursday night, own the first tiebreaker heading into their season finale against Nashville on Saturday, while the Blues host NHL-leading Washington in their finale on the same night.

Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago (47-27-7) which had won five of six. Scott Darling, subbing for the injured Corey Crawford, made 33 saves.

The Blackhawks are locked into the third spot in the Central and will face the Blues or the Stars in the first round of the playoffs.

St. Louis goaltender Brian Elliott made 24 saves to improve to 11-0 in his last 13 games.

Moments after a pair of penalties sent off a player from each team in the second, Toews made the most of the extra space on the ice. The captain skated into the left circle and sent a shot between Elliott's legs at 12:40.

Toews' 28th goal of the season extended his points streak to six games. He had a goal and two assists in Tuesday night's 6-2 victory against Arizona.

Before Toews put Chicago in front, the Blackhawks had been stymied by Elliott all night long. The goaltender also got some help in the first when Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester blocked a shot by Teuvo Teravainen with most of the net uncovered.

Elliott also stopped a penalty shot for Andrew Ladd with 4:58 left in the third.

The Blues struggled to generate many prime opportunities. A streaking Paul Stastny got to the net early in the third, but was unable to corral an airborne pass in time to get off a good shot. Darling stopped Magnus Paajarvi's rebound attempt with about three minutes left, and Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk then swept away the loose puck from the goalmouth.

NOTES: Bouwmeester returned for St. Louis after missing six games with an upper-body injury, but rookie Robby Fabbri was sidelined for the fourth straight game with a lower-body injury. Forward David Backes and goaltender Jake Allen also were held out with lower-body injuries, but could return for the playoffs. ... The Blackhawks played without Crawford and forwards Artem Anisimov, Marian Hossa and Andrew Shaw due to injuries. Crawford and Hossa participated in the morning skate, and it looks as if Crawford will return for Saturday's season finale at Columbus for his first game since a 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on March 14. If Hossa doesn't return against the Blue Jackets, he is expected to be ready for the start of the playoffs. Shaw and Anisimov also are expected to be ready for the start of the postseason next week. ... Chicago went 26-12-3 at home this season.