St. Louis Blues clinch playoffs for third straight season, ninth time in last decade
(KY3) - The St. Louis Blues have clinched their third straight trip to playoffs following Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss against the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Blues make playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jonathan Marchessault scored with 17 seconds left in overtime to lift the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.
Reilly Smith, Alec Martinez, and Nic Roy scored in regulation for Vegas, which won after trailing by two goals for the sixth time this season. The Golden Knights also inched closer to winning their third division title in four seasons since joining the NHL in 2017.
Robin Lehner stopped 22 shots to improve to 16-3-2 since joining the Golden Knights last season.
Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, and Jaden Schwartz scored for St. Louis. Jordan Binnington made 31 saves.
The teams wrap up their season series on Saturday.
Smith opened the scoring late in the first when he gathered a pass from Nic Hague at the doorstep and tapped it home with 6:37 left in the period.
The lead wouldn’t last, though, as O’Reilly took Tyler Bozak’s pass from behind the net and buried a short-handed goal to tie it with 1:52 left in the first period. O’Reilly has 12 points over his last eight games.
St. Louis scored two goals in a span of 1 minute, 44 seconds to take a brief 3-1 lead in the second period.
First, it was Perron, who came off the bench in time to receive Zach Sanford’s cross-ice pass to the bottom of the right circle and fired the puck past Lehner to make it 2-1. Marco Scandella registered his 100th career assist on Perron’s goal.
Moments later, Schwartz ripped a shot from a tight angle just in front of the goal line, sneaking the puck under Lehner and just inside the far post to make it a two-goal game.
With energy seemingly deflated from the NHL’s biggest crowd of the season, Martinez ignited the 7,567 in attendance when he blasted a one-timer from the point to cut St. Louis’ lead back down to one with 8.2 seconds left in the second period.
Roy provided an equalizer midway through the final period, when he grabbed the loose puck after a scramble in front, spun around in the right circle, and roofed a wrist shot past Binnington glove side. It was Roy’s 10th point in his last 15 games.
The Blues had a good opportunity to regain the lead when Lehner slipped while backpedaling, and Kyle Clifford skated around the back of the net to the opposite side — only to be stopped by Martinez, who dropped into a butterfly stance and stuffed the wraparound attempt.
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