ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Blues are going to need contributions from all over their roster to make up for the loss of star forward Vladimir Tarasenko.
Jordan Binnington led the way Wednesday night.
Binnington made 35 saves and Alex Pietrangelo snapped a tie in the third period, leading the Blues to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
“I think we were pretty solid,” Binnington said. “We weathered whatever they threw at us and just kept battling.”
Sammy Blais also scored for St. Louis, which won for the fourth time in five games. It was the first game for the Stanley Cup champions since Tarasenko had reconstructive surgery on his left shoulder.
“We won a lot of low-scoring games last year too with Vladdy,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “There’s nights you’re going to have to win games like that, and I thought our guys did a good job. They dug in and found a way to win a game.”
Binnington was busy all night, facing 12 shots in every period. He improved to 6-2-3 this season.
“It’s almost like we expect it now from him,” Blues right wing David Perron said.
Pietrangelo put the Blues ahead 1:39 into the third when he took a cross-ice pass from Perron and deked Ryan Suter off his feet before roofing the puck past a sliding Devan Dubnyk for his fifth goal.
“He (Dubnyk) dropped pretty early,” Pietrangelo said. “I think he thought I was going to shoot it.”
Dubnyk finished with 24 saves. Mats Zuccarello scored for the Wild, who dropped to 1-8-0 on the road.
“Whether it’s at home or on the road it’s just that 1-8 part people keep looking at,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I think there’s games we’ve played pretty good on the road and haven’t gotten the results we’d like to get, but I think in defeat this was a really positive thing for us, and if we can build off of this, we’ve got them again on Saturday.”
Blais scored when his shot from along the boards 6:52 into the second period beat Dubnyk on his stick side. It was Blais’ first goal since Oct. 12 at Montreal and No. 4 on the season.
Minnesota tied it at 8:43 when Zuccarello pushed a puck that bounced off Justin Faulk’s stick into the crease past Binnington. Zuccarello hadn’t scored since Feb. 24 at Chicago.
Ryan O’Reilly appeared to put the Blues ahead 11:07 into the second period with a shot that trickled past Dubnyk. But the goal was overturned after Minnesota challenged that Zach Sanford was offside on the play.
NOTES: Wild RW Luke Kunin played his first game in his hometown of St. Louis since making his NHL debut in 2017. Kunin grew up in the suburb of Chesterfield, Missouri. He was one of five players from St. Louis selected in the first round of the 2016 draft. … Blues C Brayden Schenn skated in his 600th career game. … Tarasenko will be out for approximately five months.