The St. Louis Blues went 2-2 in their first-round series and beat the Minnesota Wild 5-2 on Sunday.
Blues coach Craig Berube opted to use 2019 Stanley Cup goaltender Jordan Binnington in place of Ville Husso. The bet paid off. Binnington gave up two goals on 30 shots in his first playoff start.
Binnington, who had lost his last nine playoff games, earned his first playoff win since winning Game 7 of the Finals against Boston three years ago.
“I felt prepared. I felt really good,” observed the Blues goalkeeper.
Ville Husso had ousted Binnington but allowed nine goals on 59 shots in the last two games against the Wild.
“You have to be prepared for anything,” said Binnington. We have to focus on our job no matter what it is in a game. »
Jordan Kyrou gave the Blues the lead after capitalizing on a fine display from his teammates, who won a fight from behind the net to snag the puck before passing the puck to him.
Kirill Kaprizov scored again for the Wild to make it 1-1 in the first game. His fifth goal allows him to make a mark in a series in his team’s history. He joined Wes Walz and Marian Gaborik in the Training Archives. They did the trick in 2003 in the Western semifinals against Vancouver.
The Blues scored twice within 54 seconds of the second period to take a 3-1 lead.
David Perron, who scored a hat-trick in Game 1, was unlucky as the puck slowly found its way into the net after bouncing off the Wild goalie and sliding towards the red line. While Marcus Foligno tried to stop the puck from moving forward, he seemed to harm his cause, resulting in the Blues regaining the lead.
Kyrou scored his second after serving the opposing defender a cup of coffee before thwarting Marc-André Fleury with a skilled backhand shot. The Quebec bouncer blocked 29 shots.
“Obviously we wanted to come out strong,” said Kyrou. We did it today and we should do it throughout the series. »
With two goals behind, the wild ones didn’t give up in the third and scored the goal 2:39 into the game to make it 3:2. Again Matt Boldy got lucky by weakly pressing the puck which appeared to be immobilized.
Minnesota continued to attack but failed to level the game until Perron, who also had an assist, scored his second game in an empty net with 1:58 left before teammate Ryan O’Reilly scored five with a shot between Fleurys pads
The two clubs meet in Minnesota on Tuesday.