The St. Louis Blues (1-0-1) met up with the Dallas Stars (0-2-0) for the first time since the 2OT winner back in May, and the home team didn’t disappoint. After a hot start courtesy of David Perron, the Blues power play faltered when an errant play gave the Stars a shorthanded goal. Later, rookie star Miro Heiskanen blasted a bad angle rebound to give the Stars a 2-1 lead in the 2nd.
The St. Louis Blues would not go quietly, however: after a Dallas goal was reversed for being offside, the Blues took the momentum back. Brayden Schenn, freshly coming off a 8-year contract renewal, wired a shot that barely beat Ben Bishop over the shoulder. Less than 6 minutes later, a slapshot from Gunnarsson took a wild carem off of Sammy Blais and got past Ben Bishop to give the Blues the lead, 3-2.
The Stars pulled Bishop and tried to rally late in the game, but the Blues held on for their first win of the season. Binnington got his first win of the season in net, making 28 saves. The Blues are headed to Toronto on Monday where they will face the Maple Leafs at 6pm.
The Blues were off to a red hot start in their Heritage jerseys as the top lines challenged Ben Bishop from the drop of the puck. The chances only poured on and David Perron was finally rewarded when he received a perfect setup pass from Sammy Blais to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead, just 1:21 in.
Perron’s first of the season, helped by Parayko and Blais, gave the Blues their second early lead in as many games. The Blues didn’t let off the gas, however: contributions and excellent passing from forwards and defenseman alike lead to a multitude of chances for St. Louis, but Ben Bishop remained solid.
The Blues’ smart play gave them their first power play halfway into the first, but Dallas turned it on them. Mattias Janmark had a shorthanded breakaway and Binnington made the initial save, but Jaden Schwartz kicked the puck in trying to make his way back to the play.
Janmark was credited with the goal and the Stars tied the game. With the misstep in the powerplay, the Blues’ speed slowed down and the Stars started to set the pace. After one, the Blues and Stars headed to the locker room tied at one apiece. The Blues outshot the Stars 15-10 through the opening 20.
The Stars used the momentum from the first and carried it into the second. St. Louis still looked as though their line combinations were adjusting to the new season and the Stars used their speed to fluster them. Jordan Binnington was anything but nervous, however, stopping any chance that came his way through the first ten minutes.
Binnington couldn’t stop them all, however: with under seven to go in the second, Miro Heiskanen proved his rising stardom again with a bad-angle shot below the right faceoff dot after Binnington made an initial save.
Heiskanen’s goal put the Stars on top, 2-1, with Alexander Radulov and Roope Hintz adding assists. Dallas wanted to add another tally, but Binnington shook off the second goal and continued his elite goaltending. The Blues managed to end the period down one goal while only registering three shots to the Stars’ 9.
The Blues regrouped in the third period and got their defensive pairings on one page for the final frame. This gave St. Louis much more momentum in the third. However, the Stars weren’t backing down, and Esa Lindell grabbed the puck off a fortunate bounce and scored. Coach Berube and Co., however, smelled foul play and successfully challenged the goal for being offside.
With the goal reversed, St. Louis took advantage of the lucky break. Brayden Schenn, signing a lengthy contract just earlier in the day, launched a wrist shot that bounced off of Ben Bishop’s left shoulder and crawled its way to the back of the net.
With a lot of hockey left to play, Schenn tied the game 2-2 courtesy of Schwartz and Tarasenko. The defense continued to pay off in both ends after the goal, including Justin Faulk, who recorded a team-high 5 shots on net in the game. Midway through the third, Carl Gunnarsson sent a shot from the point that took a wild deflection off of Sammy Blais and into the net.
Blais’ second goal in as many games also served as the go-ahead for St. Louis, 3-2. The Stars tried to get an offense going again, but the shutdown of the Blues’ defense proved to be too much. Former Sharks captain Joe Pavelski tried to grab another goal with Bishop pulled from the net, but the Blues held onto the 3-2 lead to win their first game of the season. Jordan Binnington grabbed his first win for the Blues, making 28 saves on 30 shots.
Brayden Schenn felt the Blues’ best effort was reflected in the third period. “When we’re doing the right things, the biggest part of our game is defense and forecheck. We wear teams down and we were able to do that in the third period tonight.”
Another note to mention was Sammy Blais, who not only has three points and two goals in two games, but did it on the second line with Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron as his partners. “I think we’re working really good together. We talk a lot on the ice and on the bench; when we want to change something, we talk about it, and I think that made us good for the first two games here.”
The Blues are starting their first road trip of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs, whose goal scorers are running wild with 15 goals in 3 games. The Monday night game at 7pm ET will broadcasted through:
STL: FSMW, ESPN 101.1, Fox Sports GO, NHL.com
TOR: TSN4, SN 590, NHL.com
MLB: The Cardinals bats went cold in game 2 of the NLDS against Atlanta, losing 3-0. Game 3 of the series will start Sunday at 3:10 on TBS.
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