Binnington makes 31 saves, Blues hold off Senators 2-1
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jake Neighbours and Noel Acciari scored first-period goals and Jordan Binnington made 31 saves to lead the St. Louis Blues over the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Monday night.
St. Louis broke a two-game skid and beat the Senators for the seventh time in nine meetings.
Tim Stutzle scored for Ottawa, which has lost four of five.
Acciari pounced on a miscue by Senators goalie Cam Talbot to make it 2-0. Talbot partially fanned on a clearing attempt, giving Acciari an open net.
“He fumbled it and I cashed in,” Acciari said. “A fortuitous bounce for me.”
Acciari began the play by poking the puck away in his own zone. Then he zipped down the ice and was there when Talbot made the miscue.
“You’ll never get cheated from him when it comes to effort,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said.
Neighbours scored from close range 5:30 in off a pass from Calle Rosen, who broke loose on the right wing.
“It’s kind of cliche — you go to the net with your stick on the ice,” Neighbours said. “I was leaning on that stick and hoping it would bounce off of it.”
Ottawa ended a four-period scoring drought when Stutzle converted from the slot in the second off a pass from Brady Tkachuk, a St. Louis native. Stutzle leads the Senators with 19 goals.
St. Louis, which is 9-10-2 at home, managed just 12 shots over the first two periods.
Binnington, who lost two of his three previous starts, improved to 17-14-3. He stopped a backhander from Claude Giroux from close range with 5:37 left.
“We did a good job of weathering the storm,” Binnington said. “We’re going to take these two points and keep attacking.”
Binnington stopped all 12 shots he faced in the final period when a good majority of the play was in the Blues end.
“I don’t think we’ve played our best hockey of late,” Binnington said. “We need to have a good stretch here.”
Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said Binnington’s performance was the difference in the game.
“He was really good,” Smith said. “We had lots of looks.”
St. Louis earned its 2,000th win, becoming the eighth NHL franchise to reach that mark. The Blues entered the league in 1967.
Talbot made 18 saves for the Senators, who were coming off a 7-0 loss to Colorado on Saturday.
“The effort was there,” Smith said. “Right now, the puck isn’t going in for us. Going forward, we’re going to have to score some goals.”
Ottawa D Artem Zub sat out after sustaining a lower-body injury Saturday. ... St. Louis RW Vladimir Tarasenko is expected back some time this week. He participated in the pregame skate Monday. Tarasenko has been out since Dec. 31 with a hand injury.
Senators: Host the Penguins on Wednesday before a rematch in Pittsburgh on Friday.
Blues: Take on Nashville on Thursday in their fifth successive home game.
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