April 13, 2019 / 5:06 AM / 6 months ago

Blues win see-saw battle to take 2-0 series lead over Jets

EditorsNote: rewords first and sixth grafs

Apr 12, 2019; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; St. Louis Blues center Ryan O'Reilly (90) skates around Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) in the first period in game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan O’Reilly’s early-third-period goal was the game-winner as the visiting St. Louis Blues beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 Friday night to claim both road games in the Manitoba capital and stake a 2-0 lead in their opening-round Western Conference playoff series.

The best-of-seven series shifts to St. Louis on Sunday for Game 3, with the Blues holding all the momentum and a chance to make quick work of the Jets.

With the score tied in the third period in a back-and-forth affair, O’Reilly raced up the ice and used the defenseman as a screen when he shot from the right faceoff dot and hit the mark on the stick side at the 3:46 mark of the final frame. Taking a lead for the third time was the charm for the Blues.

Rookie St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington made 26 saves in a victory that’s just the latest chapter in his amazing story.

Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist opened the scoring five minutes into the tilt by electing to shoot on a two-on-one rush for his first-ever NHL playoff goal.

The roller coaster was just getting going. Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler tied the game at the 12:01 mark by lifting the puck into the cage after a slick feed from Mark Scheifele. Then Patrik Laine’s second goal of the series on an early second-period power play — a one-timer from the right faceoff dot — put the hosts ahead.

But that just set the stage for the Blues to take the lead and then lose it a second time. Pat Maroon buried his own rebound at 6:42 of the second period to make it a 2-2 game, and then Sundqvist potted his second of the night three minutes later by electing to shoot during an odd-man rush.

Scheifele scored a power-play goal with 65 seconds remaining in the second period — a blast from the right dot — to make it a 3-3 game, but the Jets couldn’t solve Binnington the rest of the way and now have an uphill climb to avoid an early departure in the championship tournament.

Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves in net for the Jets.

—Field Level Media

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