Blues 3 Stars 2
(Blues lead series 1-0)
ST. LOUIS —Vladimir Tarasenko, scored two goals, one on a power play to break a tie in the second period and the other on a charge to the net in the third period around a defender before a top shelf shot, as the St. Louis Blues beat Dallas 3-2 on Thursday at Enterprise Center in Game 1 of their conference semifinal.
Jordan Binnington made 27 saves, including 17 in a frantic third period that included a couple saves on point-blank shots.
Game 2 is Saturday at 2 p.m. at Enterprise Center.
Just 8 seconds after Roman Polak went off for hooking as he tried to slow Tarasenko moving up the slot toward the goal, Tarasenko took a pass from Brayden Schenn on the left, skated in and fired a shot that deflected off the stick of Dallas’ Ben Lovejoy and past Ben Bishop with 1:57 to go in the second.
It was the third goal of the postseason for Tarasenko, with all three of them coming on the power play, and came on his first shot on goal in the game. (He had taken four other shots, with two being blocked and two off target.) Dallas, after killing a penalty earlier in the period, was 16 for 16 on the PK in the postseason. They were the only team not to have allowed a goal.
Tarasenko made it 3-1 3:51 into the third as he went wide around Dallas defenseman Miro Heiskanen on his standard power move and roofed a shot into the top corner.
The third period got interesting when Binnington came out to play a puck as Vince Dunn and Dallas’ Blake Comeau raced for a puck. Binnington tried to clear it, hitting Dunn with the puck almost bounding into the net. Comeau crashed into Binnington, sending him and his stick flying, and fisticuffs soon broke out. Neither team got a power play off the play.
It got more interesting when Jamie Benn scored a power-play goal with 2:17 to play to cut the Blues lead to one.
Dallas had evened the game at 1-1 with 9:35 to go in the period on a goal by Jason Spezza. John Klingberg put a pass across the slot to Spezza, who one-timed it past Binnington, who got a piece of it but couldn’t stop it.
The Blues went ahead 1-0 in the first at a point where Dallas had dominated the start of the game and the Blues couldn’t get out of their own end when Colton Parayko passed from behind the net to Ivan Barbashev on the left boards, who found a blazing Robby Fabbri in stride cross ice. He shot from inside the right circle and went in between Bishop’s legs 5:57 into the game.
The shots on goal were 5-1 in Dallas’ favor at the time and Dallas had some chances thanks to sloppy Blues play and poor clearances. But Dallas shot wide on some of its best chances and Binnington handled the others.
For Fabbri, it was his first goal since Nov. 23 and just his third this season. He was a healthy scratch in the first three games of the Winnipeg series before coming in for Zach Sanford and doing fairly well on the fourth line.
Fabbri has done well against Dallas in the postseason. He had eight points in a seven-game series in 2016. This season has been almost a loss for Fabbri, who struggled in coming back from two knee surgeries, but late in the season, he may be finally hitting his stride.