Zach Sanford scored the tiebreaking goal a little before the midway point of the third period Wednesday night for the visiting St. Louis Blues, who went on to edge the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3.
Oskar Sundqvist scored twice in the second period and Brayden Schenn scored what proved to be the game-winning goal, a power play tally less than three minutes after Sanford’s goal for the Blues, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Goalie Jordan Binnington made 32 saves, including a handful of spectacular stops with the Lightning net empty in the final minute.
Nikita Kucherov, Anthony Cirelli and Brayden Point scored for the Lightning, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded 29 saves.
After a scoreless first period, the teams produced two goals apiece in an active second.
A faceoff win by Point led directly to the game’s first goal. After Point beat Ryan O’Reilly, the puck bounced to Kucherov, whose shot from behind the faceoff circle sailed through the legs of a screened Binnington at the 3:53 mark.
The Blues tied the score on Sundqvist’s short-handed breakaway less than two minutes later. Jay Bouwmeester and Ivan Barbashev teamed up to free the puck from deep in the Lightning zone. Barbashev’s backhand pass hit Sundqvist in stride and the center raced in untouched and scored at 5:31.
Barbashev and Sundqvist teamed up again a little more than three minutes later, when the Blues won a battle for the puck just beyond the neutral zone and Barbashev sent another backhand pass to Sundqvist, who beat Binnington through his legs.
Cirelli tied the score with 8:21 left when he rebounded his own shot. The puck skittered into the crease and remained there for a moment before Cirelli was able to dive ahead of Binnington and fire his shot into the net.
Sanford broke the tie with a slap shot from the left faceoff circle at the 8:21 mark of the third. The Lightning’s Alex Killorn (slashing) and Yanni Gourde (tripping) were whistled 15 seconds apart less than a minute later to set up Schenn’s goal.
Point scored with 5:37 left but the Lightning could not get the equalizer despite peppering Binnington with four shots in a 19-second span in the final minute. Binnington smothered two putback chances by Cirelli.
—Field Level Media