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Robert Thomas, Blues outscore Devils late

Jan 5, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils goaltender Akira Schmid (40) defends his net against the St. Louis Blues during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Thomas scored twice during St. Louis’ three-goal third period and had an assist earlier in the night as the Blues won 5-3 on Thursday to hand the New Jersey Devils their eighth straight home loss in Newark, N.J.

The Blues’ Pavel Buchnevich recorded two of his three assists in the third, while Brandon Saad and Ivan Barbashev each had a goal with an assist. Jordan Kyrou scored for the eighth time in the last five road games.

Meanwhile, Jordan Bennington made 36 saves as the Blues won their second straight game without injured key contributors Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko and Torey Krug, and despite just 19 shots on goal.

With the game tied at 2-2, the Devils failed to clear their zone, but the puck eventually found Saad, who beat New Jersey’s Akira Schmid (14 saves), called up earlier in the day from Utica of the AHL Utica, just 2:27 into the third period. The Blues made it a two-goal game when Thomas one-timed an angled shot behind Schmid for a power-play strike with 10:07 to go in regulation.

New Jersey’s Nico Hischier scored his fifth goal in five games, via a two-man advantage, to make it a one-goal contest with 7:51 left in the third.

However, Binnington stayed strong and Thomas added an empty-netter to hold off the Devils, who got two goals from Jack Hughes, giving him 24 for the season.

Despite being outshot 14-5 over the first 20 minutes, the Blues posted the only goal of the period with 8:13 remaining. Buchnevich corralled the puck, then spun and sent it toward the net, where Kyrou perfectly defected it in.

However, it was Hughes’ turn to shine in the second period. Just 3:51 into the middle frame, Hughes’ stick was quick enough to put home a rebound. Then with 11:13 to play in the period, he kept control of the puck in the high slot and drove it past a screened Binnington for a 2-1 Devils lead.

Hughes has recorded 17 of his 24 goals over a 19-game stretch.

The Blues answered with 3:33 remaining in the second when Barbashev found the top left corner of the net.

–Field Level Media