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Blues Carry 2-1 Lead Into Game 4

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Blues Carry 2-1 Lead Into Game 4

Andrew Faucher, Staff Writer

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The Blues started the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the right foot, building a 2-1 series lead prior to Game 4 vs. the Winnipeg Jets at the Enterprise Center, April 16.

On April 10, the Blues traveled to Winnipeg looking to grab an early series lead. Right off the jump, the pace of the game was set. Just 34 seconds in, Jets center Mark Scheifele slammed into Blues rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington behind the net, earning St. Louis a power play. The Blues made nothing of this opportunity, but the tone was set.

At 13:28, Jets winger Patrik Laine ripped a wrister to beat Binnington glove side. From there on, the rookie netminder dug in and stopped the next 22 shots. On the other side of the ice, Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck matched Binnington’s play. As both defenses laid the hits, the goalies stopped nearly everything in sight. St. Louis saw their time and opportunities fading away when winger David Perron snapped a shot past Hellebuyck to tie things up at 4:05 in the third period. With momentum back on their side, the Blues picked up their offensive attack. They ripped shot after shot through the crease, until center Tyler Bozak snapped a rebounded puck into the back of the net to give the Blues a 2-1 lead with just over two minutes remaining.

The Blues would hold this lead as Jordan Binnington picked up his first career Stanley Cup Playoff win giving St. Louis a 1-0 series lead.

Two days later, April 12, fans were treated to a higher scoring, back-and-forth affair. The teams swapped blows right out of the gate as St. Louis center Oskar Sundqvist scored on a wrister at 5:23 in the first. Jets captain Blake Wheeler knotted things up at 1-1 with a beautiful wrist shot with an assist from Mark Scheifele at 12:01.

In the second, Patrik Laine continued his torment of the Blues with a wicked power play slap shot past Binnington, giving the Jets a 2-1 lead at 2:49. Pat Maroon scored on a tip in before Sundqvist tallied his second goal of the game to push the Blues in front 3-2. This lead was short lived, however, as Scheifele snapped a wrister glove side on Binnington to tie the game with just over a minute left in the second period.

With the game knotted up at 3-3, both teams were looking for anything to go their way. St. Louis got lucky with their golden goose Ryan O’Reilly chucking a snapshot from the circle just for the puck to sneak right past Hellebuyck. It was a puck the Jets goaltender should have stopped, but he didn’t. And with that, 2-0 series lead for the Blues.

After taking the series back to St. Louis, the Blues faltered. They failed to gain a 3-0 lead in the series in a dismal 6-3 loss on home ice. They kept things close into the third, with star winger Vladimir Tarasenko notching his first goal of the playoffs at 1:51 to make it a reasonable 3-2. Then, the defense fell apart, giving up three third period goals, which was too big of a hole for the Blues to climb out off.

Nonetheless, St. Louis still holds a 2-1 lead in the series with home ice for Tuesday’s game. They will look to draw one step closer to the elusive Stanley Cup title they have sought after for so many years.

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About the Writer
Andrew Faucher, Staff Writer

Andrew Faucher is a senior here at St. Dominic High School. He has been involved in Youth and Government, French Club and Empower Student Club. He is going...

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Blues Carry 2-1 Lead Into Game 4