Buchnevich scores 38 seconds into overtime, Blues top Golden Knights
The Blues improved to 12-0-0 when scoring the first goal of the game, and are 3-0-1 in their last four straight trips to Vegas.
“We feel real good when we score first, that’s for sure,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “We haven’t done a great job when we haven’t scored first so far this year and that’s something we got to improve upon and correct. But when we have the lead we play confident.”
In the extra period, Buchnevich was alone at the right corner when he took a pass from Robert Thomas and slammed the puck past Thompson.
Binnington was easily the star of the game after struggling over his previous six starts, during which he had the league's sixth-highest goals-against average of 4.56, and the highest among goaltenders with at least five starts since Nov. 18.
“It’s a fun atmosphere to play in, I enjoy it ... going against a team like that" Binnington said. “They’re a competitive group and they play the right way and play hard so I think we did a good job stepping up tonight and getting the win.”
The game certainly opened with a battle between Binnington and Thompson, who were exceptional at keeping the puck out of the goal.
After a relatively quiet first period, Toropchenko deflected a shot from Colton Parayko and past Thompson to give the Blues a 1-0 lead with 21 seconds left.
Binnington continued to stymie Vegas’ efforts in the second period, exemplified by three highlight saves.
The first time he slid across the crease just in time to thwart Nic Roy at the corner of the goal, and later dropped into the splits to stifle former teammate Ivan Barbashev.
The third might have been the most impressive, with 2:30 left in the second, when Barbashev swiped the puck at the blue line and sprung Eichel for a chance in front only to have Binnington poke-check the puck off his stick at the doorstep.
“Good for Binnington, he played well,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He’s the reason they got two (points) and we got one.”
The Golden Knights finally broke through when Eichel fired a shot from the top of the right circle and it found its way past Binnington into the top-left corner for a power-play goal with 7:02 left in regulation.
Vegas had failed on its first three power-play opportunities. The Blues, who came into the game with the league’s second-best road penalty kill having stopped 28 of 31 shots (90.3%), now rank fourth in the league with an 88.2% PK away from St. Louis.
“It’s just one of those things,” Berube said. “I don’t take a lot of stock into why we’re so good on the road with the penalty kill and maybe not so good at home. I think just we had some games at home where we gave up some goals and it’s just that average goes up. Our structure has been really good all year. I think guys are really dialed in and we’re blocking shots and doing all the little things right.”
The teams conclude a home-and-home series in St. Louis on Wednesday.
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