ST. LOUIS (AP)Torey Krug scored and Jordan Binnington made 25 saves in the St. Louis Blues’ 1-0 victory over the winless Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.
The Blackhawks dropped to 0-7-2 to set a franchise record for the worst start to a season. Chicago was winless through eight games in 1953-54, when they were 0-7-1, and 1999-00, when they were 0-4-4.
The Blues rebounded after their first loss of the season Thursday night.
”It was a good bounce- back game after not playing a good game against Colorado,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. ”I thought we were pretty solid tonight, which was good to see and we still got a couple of guys out of the lineup but it was a good way to find a way to win tonight. It’s a good thing and again we’re going on a road, we’re gonna play LA again, they’re a tough opponent, San Jose, and then Anaheim and Winnipeg. It’s gonna be a tough road trip, but I think we’re ready to get back on the road.”
An interference call on Alex DeBrincat gave the Blues their second power-play opportunity of the third period.
”My stick got stuck in a skate and they get a power play,” DeBrincat said. ”It can go the other way, too. Unfortunately, it happened to us. We’re here to win. If we play well and don’t win it doesn’t mean anything.”
Krug cashed in on the power play at 7:35 of the third period. Vladimir Tarasenko fed Krug in the right faceoff circle. Krug’s wrist shot beat Marc-Andre Fleury through his pads.
”I had to throw it there at the net and make a play,” Krug said. ”Sometimes you’ve got to get lucky to beat a good goaltender like that. He was seeing the puck, he did a great job of keeping his team in it. We just couldn’t get too many by him. I was lucky to squeak one in and the power play showed up and helped the team win.”
With the assist, Tarasenko extended his points streak to six games (four goals, five assists).
Binnington earned his ninth career shutout. He improved to 11-1-3 over his last 15 regular-season starts.
”It was an exciting hockey game, I think,” Binnington said. ”It’s kind of the life of the goalie. Everyone’s getting different chances, right? So you just got to stay calm, stay level-headed and give you team a chance to win and try and make those big saves just trusting your style and enjoying the team effort going the other way.”
Fluery made 36 saves for Chicago. He’s 0-5-0 this season.
”All I want is a win. It doesn’t matter how we get it,” Fluery said. ”It was nice not to give up four or five or six goals. It’ been very frustrating, embarrassing at times. ”
The Blackhawks obtained Fluery in an offseason trade but the results have not been there yet. But that may be changing.
Coach Jeremy Colliton said this was Fluery’s best game with Chicago.
”He was really good, a big lift to our team,” Colliton said. ”That’s the kind of performance we need. Our team responded as well. We had a better effort and we were harder to beat. We’ve just got to finish the job and get points.”
Blues LW Brandon Saad has been cleared from COVID-19 protocol. He skated Saturday morning before practice began and then left. He is expectd back on the ice soon and could be ready to play in Wednesday’s game against the Kings in Los Angeles. Saad last played Oct. 20 against Vegas. … Blues C Ryan O’Reilly, former Conn Smythe Trophy winner, remains out on COVID-19 protocol. … Chicago’s Patrick Kane, Jujhar Khaira and Riley Stillman all remain day-to-day in COVID-19 Protocol.
Chicago C Tyler Johnson (neck soreness) was scratched for the game. Johnson left Friday’s game (a 6-3 loss to Carolina) in the second period. Coach Jeremy Colliton described the injury as a stinger in his neck and shoulder area.
Blackhawks: Host Ottawa on Monday night.
Blues: At Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
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