Neighbours, Toropchenko score as Blues beat Wild 3-1 to snap a three-game losing streak

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jake Neighbours and Alexey Toropchenko scored as the St. Louis Blues beat the Minnesota Wild 3-1 Saturday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Torey Krug had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Binnington stopped 21 shots to help the Blues win for just the second time in seven games (2-4-1).

“By no means do I think we played our best,” Blues interim coach Drew Bannister said. “But we found a way to win in the end. That's an important game for us. That's an important two points. We've got to build momentum off this going on to the road.”

St. Louis now sits three points ahead of Minnesota and entered play seven points behind Nashville in the race for the final Western Conference wild card.

“For sure it was important, but always more important for our team,” Toropchenko said. "We need to care just about our team and how we play and don’t look at other teams. Just maybe before the games (to see) how they play, just to get to know a little, but we need to focus on our game and play our way.”

Jon Merrill scored and Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves for Minnesota in its third straight loss.

“It was definitely the effort and the competitiveness you need to win,” Wild coach John Hynes said. “Unfortunately, tonight, we had lots of chances, lots of offensive zone time, but we couldn't find a way to put it in tonight.”

Krug sealed the with with 49 seconds remaining when he shot the puck the length of the ice into an empty net for his third goal of the season.

Neighbours scored his 20th when he tapped in Robert Thomas’ rebound on a power play with 7:07 left in the second period to put the Blues ahead 2-1. It was the Blues’ lone goal in seven power plays.

“That one was just kind of lucky,” Neighbours said. “It probably would have went in if it didn't hit me, but it hit me in the leg and was just kind of sitting there for me. That's just the benefit of being around the net. Sometimes you get some lucky bounces.”

Hynes challenged the goal, alleging that Neighbours interfered with Fleury, but the goal stood after a review. Minnesota had been successful in its previous five challenges this season.

“We had a lot of penalties tonight,” Fleury said. “It’s tough to get momentum, tough to get chances when you’re always defending. Guys played well. They played pretty good. They got a good bounce on that goal there. It’s tough to get some offense when you’re playing on the P.K.”

Toropchenko deflected Scott Perunovich’s shot from the point to ricochet off the post and Fleury’s pad into the net for his 10th goal of the season 6:34 into the first period to put St. Louis ahead 1-0.

Merrill tied it when he intercepted Nick Leddy’s clearing attempt and wristed the puck over Binnington’s glove for his third goal of the season at 10:06 of the second.

Wild forward Mason Shaw made his first NHL appearance since suffering a torn ACL at Vegas on April 1, 2023.

“That’s all I’ve wanted from day one of this recovery process was to get a chance to play in the NHL again," Shawe said. “At the end of the day, once we get back to the rink it’s just hockey again. We’re in the middle of a fight right now. It didn’t go our way the last two nights but there’s a lot of hockey left and there’s a never say die attitude to this group.”

UP NEXT

Wild: Host San Jose on Sunday.

Blues: At Philadelphia on Monday night to start a five-game road trip.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl