EditorsNote: rewords headline
Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice and Jordan Binnington once again sparkled in net as the host St. Louis Blues beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 Thursday night in the opener of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal will be Saturday afternoon in St. Louis.
Tarasenko’s third power-play goal of the playoffs with about two minutes remaining in the second period broke a 1-1 deadlock and put the hosts ahead for good.
Tarasenko picked up the puck at the point and fired a long shot from the top of the left circle that went through the legs of Stars goalie Ben Bishop. Dallas killed the first 16 penalties it had in the playoffs.
Tarasenko then scored the eventual game-winning goal about four minutes into the third period with a highlight-reel tally. He got the puck in the neutral zone, blew past rookie defender Miro Heiskanen, drove to the net and lifted a shot over Bishop as he attempted a pokecheck.
The Stars pushed feverishly, and pulled within one thanks to Jamie Benn’s power-play goal with 2:17 remaining in regulation — he pushed home a rebound during a scramble — but they couldn’t find the equalizer.
For that result, credit Binnington, who made 27 saves. Bishop stopped 17 shots.
The Stars dominated at the start, but Blues forward Robby Fabbri opened the scoring six minutes into the game. Fabbri worked down on his off-wing and converted a five-hole shot goal that it appeared Bishop should have stopped. Fabbri snapped a 24-game drought that dated back to November.
Then it was Dallas’s turn to be outplayed but score. Just past the midway point of the second period, dynamic defenseman John Klingberg took a drop pass just inside the offensive blueline, eluded one check and sent a cross-ice pass that Jason Spezza one-timed for his first goal since Feb. 24.
—Field Level Media