Tarasenko leads Blues past Oilers in first game since layoff | WGN 720 radio

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ST. LOUIS (AP) Vladimir Tarasenko had one goal and two assists as the St. Louis Blues beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Wednesday night.

Brandon Saad, Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou also scored in St. Louis’ first game since a 4-2 loss to Winnipeg on December 19. Jordan Binnington made 26 saves on his second start since being taken off the COVID-19 list.

“We had a lot of time to rest,” Tarasenko said. “I know a lot of guys have spent it with families. It gives you more positive emotions.

Leon Draisaitl and Evan Bouchard scored for Edmonton in their first game since a 5-3 win in Seattle on December 18. Mike Smith stopped 29 shots.

“I thought we did some things right,” Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “Overall we gave them too many good opportunities and Smitty had to make some big saves.”

Tarasenko gave the Blues a 3-2 lead on his 13th goal of the season when he skated to the edge of the crease and pushed the puck past Smith with 4:14 left in the second period. Tarasenko has scored in four straight games, recording five goals and four assists during that span.

Saad added his 12th of the season 16 seconds off third on the power play to make it 4-2.

Thomas, in the middle of Kyrou and Tarasenko, scored his third goal after a back and forth with Tarasenko at 4:03 of the first period.

“They played really well,” Blues coach Craig Berube said of the line. “Not just the goals, but just the overall game. I thought they had pucks and made good things with them. I thought they were working hard without the puck and were engaged defensively. This is a big part of it.

Kyrou scored his 10th almost three minutes later, becoming the fifth Blues player to double this season.

“I think our team is super deep,” said Kyrou. “It’s great that we have a lot of guys who can score and a lot of guys keep making plays. In addition, everyone is doing very well defensively.

Draisaitl reduced St. Louis’ lead to 2-1 when he got his 24th of the season just 32 seconds later.

Bouchard scored his sixth on a shot from outside the face-off circle that slipped past Binnington to tie it at 2 with 8:11 left in the second.

“We made a few mistakes early on, got behind early and got on with the game,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “We were around a bit, but we returned a lot of pucks and ended up chasing after. When you’ve been on leave for 11 days, that’s not an ideal situation.

BENCH BOSS

Berube scored his 200th victory as an NHL coach, making him the seventh in league history to win 200 games and play at least 1,000. Bérubé played 1,054 games in 17 seasons .

“It means a lot,” Bérubé said. “It is certainly an honor for many people, throughout your career and throughout your life, who have helped you along your journey. “

WELCOME TO THE NHL

Oilers Dmitri Samorukov made his NHL debut. The 22-year-old was a third-round pick for the Oilers in the 2017 draft.

LATE SCRATCH

Blues LW Pavel Buchnevich has been struck out with a non-COVID-19 illness. St. Louis has dressed 11 forwards and seven defenders.

FOLLOWING

Oilers: At the New Jersey Devils on Friday.

Blues: At the Minnesota Wild on Saturday to compete in the Winter Classic at Target Field.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports



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