Blues use 3-goal third period to top Maple Leafs 6-3
Feb 19, 2022, 5:10 AM | Updated: 9:01 pm
(Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
TORONTO (AP) — Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly and Pavel Buchnevich each scored in St. Louis’ three-goal third period that broke open a tie game and gave the Blues a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Buchnevich finished with two goals, and Klim Kostin and Brayden Schenn also scored for St. Louis. Ville Husso made 34 saves to improve to 9-1-1 since Jan. 1.
“We did a good job of skating and forechecking well,” O’Reilly said. “When we did that we got the puck back and assessed and had some good looks. Scoring six goals is always good especially against that team, and only giving up three is good against them. It’s always a tough challenge.”
The Blues rebounded from a 3-2 overtime loss Thursday night that ended the Montreal Canadiens’ 10-game skid.
“We were disappointed with that effort in Montreal,” O’Reilly said. “It wasn’t a complete game. I thought we were more engaged today, we were more physical at times, we had good numbers. It was just a more complete game.”
William Nylander had two goals and T.J. Brodie scored his first goal since Jan. 5 for Toronto. Jack Campbell made 28 saves.
“They’re a dangerous team,” Campbell said of St. Louis. “But we knew that going in, and they made the most of their chances.”
With the game tied at 3, Saad finished a pinpoint three-way passing play from linemate David Perron and defenseman Colton Parayko 4:38 into the third period to give St. Louis the lead.
“We knew that they were going to be a rush team, and we just didn’t find a way to shut them down on the rush tonight,” Brodie said.
O’Reilly deflected a point shot from Niko Mikkola midway through the final period to make it 5-3.
“Our goalie came up big for us in the third, made some big saves,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “And we scored on our opportunities tonight, stayed out of the penalty box.”
Buchnevich scored his second of the game into an empty net.
“We didn’t defend well enough,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “They have a lot of skill. They’re as dangerous a team as any in the NHL, and they showed that tonight.”
Toronto’s Auston Matthews saw his nine-game point streak end.
The Blues were without top scorer Vladimir Tarasenko, who was injured in Montreal. Berube listed him as day to day with an undisclosed injury.
But Tarasenko’s absence didn’t matter much to the Blues in the first period when Buchnevich hammered in a rebound off the blocker of Campbell for an early lead.
Kostin, a fourth-liner, made it 2-0 midway through the opening frame when he converted a cross-ice backhand pass from Tyler Bozak.
After sitting out four games as a healthy scratch, Bozak — a former Maple Leaf — made his way back into the Blues’ lineup.
Nylander put Toronto on the scoreboard with a stick-side wrist shot late in the first period for his 18th goal.
Nylander, who had gone the previous seven games without a goal, tied it at 2 early in the second period off the rush on the left side.
However, the Blues regained the lead 29 seconds later when Schenn popped in his own rebound.
Toronto drew even late in the second period with a screen drive from the point off the stick of Brodie.
Blues: At Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Maple Leafs: At Montreal on Monday night to open a two-game trip.
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