ST. LOUIS (AP)Charlie McAvoy felt as if the postseason began on Tuesday night.
McAvoy scored 48 seconds into overtime and Jeremy Swayman made 20 saves to help the Boston Bruins beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2.
Jake DeBrusk and Taylor Hall also scored for Boston, which won its second straight after a season-worst three-game losing streak.
The Bruins were coming off a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday, and the back-to-back victories give them a much-needed shot of momentum.
”Those are the games that it’s going to be like in the playoffs,” McAvoy said. ”So, it’s certainly not bad to be playing those games as we build up.”
Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich scored for St. Louis, which had a nine-game winning streak snapped.
Swayman, who stopped 23 of 24 shots against Pittsburgh, thwarted Jordan Kyrou from close range midway through the final period with the game tied.
”We know that every game is an opportunity to prepare us for the playoffs from here on out ,” Swayman said. ”We love (facing) teams that are going to give us that all-out effort, every night and we’re only going to get better from it.”
The Bruins were making their first appearance in St. Louis since a 5-1 win in Game 6 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals. The Blues went on to win the crown in seven games.
”We checked very well, limited their chances,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. ”All in all, I felt we did a good job against a real good hockey team. That’s our game plan. If we play like that, we’re hard to play against.”
Ville Husso made for 32 saves for St. Louis, He had won his previous six starts.
The Blues extended their point streak to 13 successive games, tying a franchise mark set Jan. 3-Feb. 5, 2015.
”They checked us well and didn’t give us much,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. ”You’ve got to fight for space and this was a good lesson for us.”
Thomas deflected in a backhanded attempt by Vladimir Tarasenko with 2.4 seconds left in the second period to tie it 2-all. Thomas extended his career-best point streak to 14 games. He has seven goals and 19 assists during the streak, which is the longest current run in the NHL.
The Bruins have failed to score in their last 27 power-play attempts.
Hall, the first overall pick in the 2010 draft by Edmonton, deflected a shot from Derek Forbort midway through the second period to break a 1-all tie. It was Hall’s 17th goal of the season and first in eight games.
DeBrusk jammed in a shot from close range just 93 seconds into the second period to tie the game.
The Blues had scored at least four goals in their last 12 games, a franchise record.
”Total team effort, it was great to watch,” Swayman said. ”Our guys communicate well, take pride in the defensive zone, blocking shots, making simple plays. It’s stuff we work on, it’s great to see it show up for us.”
Boston goalies Linus Ullmark, with 23 wins, and Jeremy Swayman, with 22 wins, are the only 20-plus win duo in the NHL this season.
Boston C Trent Frederic grew up in St. Louis and made his first appearance as a member of Bruins on Tuesday. A 2016 graduate of De Smet Jesuit High, Frederic has a career-high six goals.
Bruins: Play at Pittsburgh on Thursday,
Blues: Begin a four-game trip in San Jose on Thursday.
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