Jake Neighbours and Noel Acciari scored first-period goals, and Jordan Binnington made 32 saves as the St. Louis Blues held on to edge the visiting Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Monday night.
Though the Blues managed just 20 shots on goal, they played strong enough defense and Binnington was stout while stopping all 12 shots faced in the third period as St. Louis avoided a third consecutive defeat. The victory was just the fourth in the last 12 home games for St. Louis.
Tim Stutzle registered his team-leading 19th goal for the Senators, who were much more competitive after being roughed up 7-0 at Colorado on Saturday. That said, Ottawa is mired in a 1-4-0 rut and has scored six goals in its last four games.
After allowing two first-period goals at Colorado over the weekend, the Senators did the same in this one — even though they outshot the Blues 11-8 through the first 20 minutes.
St. Louis opened the scoring just 5:30 into the contest. Defenseman Calle Rosen skated with the puck along the board and then near the net, then sent it in front for a well-positioned Neighbours to slide through the legs of Senators netminder Cam Talbot (18 saves).
With 4:54 remaining in the opening frame, Acciari benefited from a misplay of the puck by Talbot, to rather easily end a 10-game goal drought with his 10th of the season.
Ottawa eventually broke through with 6:08 left in the second period. Off a dump in, the Senators’ Brady Tkachuk got the puck behind the Blues’ net then found Stutzle in front to halt the latter’s three-game point drought.
The Senators continued to push in the third period, but Binnington was solid to keep them at bay. With 8:10 remaining in regulation, Ottawa’s Claude Giroux found himself on the doorstep to push in the puck, but Binnington smothered it to preserve St. Louis’ advantage. Minutes later, Binnington stopped an up-close Giroux backhander.
The Senators have lost five of their last seven away from home.
–Field Level Media