EditorsNote: Changes Barrington to Binnington in third graf
Jordan Binnington continued his strong play with 29 saves to help the surging St. Louis Blues extend their season-best winning streak to five games Saturday, with a 3-2 victory over the visiting Nashville Predators in the first of a home-and-home set.
One of the NHL’s hottest teams of late, the Blues have gone 9-2-1 over the last month to help their playoff chances in the Western Conference.
The rookie Binnington has been in net for each of the last five games, posting a 1.38 goals-against average in those contests. Binnington, 9-1-1 as a starter this season, showed composure late after Nashville got within one on Ryan Johansen’s second goal in as many games with a little more than one minute to play.
“It’s another character win by this group,” Binnington told St. Louis’ KMOX radio.
Veteran Jake Allen, however, could make his first start since Jan. 17 on Sunday, when St. Louis visits Nashville.
Chippy, emotional and heated from the beginning, these Central Division foes played with the passion usually reserved for a playoff game. Just two minutes into the contest, the Blues’ Patrick Maroon and the Predators’ Cody McLeod dropped the gloves.
St. Louis struck first at 4:37 of the opening period as defenseman Vince Dunn converted a rebound for his seventh goal of the year. The Blues then extended their lead with 1:15 left in the period as Vladimir Tarasenko scored to stretch his point streak to seven games.
The Predators, who entered winners of two straight and five in the previous six, got on the board via a Mattias Ekholm power-play goal 7:28 into the second period. However, St. Louis got back to a two-goal advantage just over three minutes later on Mackenzie MacEachern’s second of his career.
St. Louis’ Robert Thomas had two assists after recording just one point in his previous seven games. Tarasenko has eight goals and 16 points in the last 15.
Pekka Rinne, who stopped 30 shots, had won his previous six regular-season starts against the Blues. Nashville, second in the Central Division, fell to 4-1-3 in the first of back-to-back games this season.
—Field Level Media