NHL Hockey

Blues beat Golden Knights 3-1 to close in on playoff spot

(AP Photo/Dilip Vishwanat)

By WARREN MAYES

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) The St. Louis Blues paid a big price to obtain Ryan O'Reilly and it's already looking like a bargain.

O'Reilly, Ivan Barbashev and Zach Sanford scored to help the Blues beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 on Monday night.

St. Louis acquired O'Reilly from the Buffalo Sabres last offseason for a 2019 first-round draft pick, a 2021 second-round pick plus Tage Thompson, Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund.

Buffalo never made the playoffs in O'Reilly's three seasons there. He reached the playoffs twice with Colorado, the last time during the 2013-14 season. Now he's on the cusp of getting back into postseason play with the Blues.

"It's awesome. It's one of the best things in hockey when you're playing in meaningful games and preparing for the playoffs," O'Reilly said. "It's what you train for in the summer - to go the distance. It's nice to be in this position. It feels good but there's a lot of work left to do."

St. Louis, which has six games to play, sits third in the Central Division and is closing in on a playoff spot. The Blues remained two points behind second-place Nashville, which beat Minnesota 1-0.

Jordan Binnington made 24 saves for his 21st victory of the season. He is one win short of matching Jake Allen's record set in 2014-15 for the most by a Blues rookie goaltender.

William Karlsson scored for Vegas, which could have clinched a playoff berth with a win. The Golden Knights are in third place in the Pacific Division, 11 points ahead of Arizona.

The Blues completed a sweep of their four-game homestand, outscoring the opposition 19-8. They won all three meetings with the Golden Knights this season and outscored them 12-5 overall. St. Louis is 4-0-2 all-time against Vegas, which reached the Stanley Cup Final as an expansion team last year.

St. Louis struck first late in the opening period.

Las Vegas goalie Malcolm Subban, making his fifth straight start, threw the puck behind the net but Sanford was there to control it. He skated out and fed Barbashev in the bottom of the right circle. Barbashev threaded his wrist shot between Subban's arm and body with 1:19 left in the period.

"I was a little surprised there," Barbashev said. "I was trying to shoot the short side and how it got in between his arm and his body, I don't know."

Barbashev has four goals and five points in his last three games.

Subban wished he had the play back.

"I probably should have covered it if I didn't have a play, but I just kind of threw it blindly behind," he said. "It's tough especially to give up the first goal that I gave up. It's tough in a game like that."

Alex Tuch got free on a breakaway at 8:20 of the second but Binnington made a solid save.

Jay Bouwmeester was called for slashing at 13:14 and the Golden Knights capitalized. Karlsson scored with 2 seconds left on the power play when he put in a rebound of Colin Miller's shot at 15:12.

"I think they played really well," Karlsson said about the Blues. "They were right on top of us and made it hard for us."

St. Louis regained the lead on O'Reilly's 27th goal when he snapped in a wrist shot from the left circle at 18:14 after taking a pass from Bouwmeester.

O'Reilly had gone eight games without a goal. His career-best total of 28 came in 2013-14 with Colorado.

"I haven't been shooting the puck very well lately," O'Reilly said. "Bouwmeester made a great pass to set me up there. The goal came at a good time. It gave us a little spark."

Bouwmeester gave O'Reilly all the credit.

"I saw him going. It was good play by him to pick it up," Bouwmeester said. "It was a pretty hard pass. He's a good guy to get going on a breakaway."

Sanford made it 3-1 at 6:27 of the third. Robert Bortuzzo fired a shot and Subban blocked it. The loose puck was airborne and hit Sanford in the neck as he was on his knees and it went in for a goal. Alex Pietrangelo also got an assist - the 300th of his career.

After a timeout with 1:13 to play, Subban was pulled for an extra skater. He finished with 19 saves.

"I thought it was a good game, a good hockey game by both teams," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "Obviously they got the three goals and beat us tonight, but I thought we played well. We made a couple mistakes that ended in the back of our net, but there wasn't a lot of room out there. It was a playoff-atmosphere type of game and they played really well."

NOTES: Golden Knights G Marc-Andre Fleury and LW Max Pacioretty remain day-to-day with lower-body injuries. ... Vegas D Shea Theodore and C Pierre-Edouard Bellemare were late scratches. ... Blues D Carl Gunnarsson returned to the lineup after being out with an upper-body injury since Feb. 5. He missed 24 games. ... Ex-Blues player Paul Stastny was back on the ice in St. Louis for the first time since leaving. ... Blues RW Vladimir Tarasenko needs one goal for his fifth straight 30-goal season. ... The Blues improved to 11-2-0 in their last 13 home games after a 10-13-2 start.

UP NEXT

Golden Knights: At the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Blues: At the New York Rangers on Friday night.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Updated March 26, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
NHL
Carolina 3 F
Tampa Bay 0
Tampa Bay   7:00pm
Carolina  
Teams Score Time
Air Force   Fri 9:00pm
Boise State  
Utah   Fri 9:00pm
USC  
Boston College   Sat 12:00pm
Rutgers  
Elon   Sat 12:00pm
Wake Forest  
LSU   Sat 12:00pm
Vanderbilt  
Michigan State   Sat 12:00pm
Northwestern  
Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Wisconsin  
Southern Mississippi   Sat 12:00pm
Alabama  
Tennessee   Sat 12:00pm
Florida  
Western Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Syracuse  
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Auburn   Sat 3:30pm
Texas A&M  
Louisville   Sat 3:30pm
Florida State  
Miami (OH)   Sat 3:30pm
Ohio State  
UCF   Sat 3:30pm
Pittsburgh  
Washington   Sat 3:30pm
BYU  
Central Michigan   Sat 4:00pm
Miami  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
Old Dominion   Sat 7:00pm
Virginia  
Oregon   Sat 7:00pm
Stanford  
Charlotte   Sat 7:30pm
Clemson  
Oklahoma State   Sat 7:30pm
Texas  
Notre Dame   Sat 8:00pm
Georgia  
UCLA   Sat 10:30pm
Washington State  
Teams Score Time
Interleague
Seattle 6 F
Pittsburgh 0
San Francisco 7 F
Boston 6
Tampa Bay 5 F
Los Angeles 7
Seattle   7:05pm
Pittsburgh  
San Francisco   7:10pm
Boston  
Tampa Bay   8:10pm
Los Angeles  
American League
Los Angeles 0 F
New York 8
Toronto 8 F
Baltimore 5
Detroit 2 F
Cleveland 7
Chicago 8 F
Minnesota 9
Texas 1 F
Houston 4
Kansas City 1 F
Oakland 2
Kansas City   3:37pm
Oakland  
Los Angeles   6:35pm
New York  
Toronto   7:05pm
Baltimore  
Detroit   7:10pm
Cleveland  
Chicago   7:40pm
Minnesota  
Texas   8:10pm
Houston  
National League
Philadelphia 5 F
Atlanta 4
San Diego 1 F
Milwaukee 3
Washington 6 F
St. Louis 2
Cincinnati 4 F
Chicago 2
New York 6 F
Colorado 1
Miami 12 F
Arizona 6
Washington   1:15pm
St. Louis  
New York   3:10pm
Colorado  
Miami   3:40pm
Arizona  
Philadelphia   7:20pm
Atlanta  
San Diego   7:40pm
Milwaukee  
Cincinnati   8:05pm
Chicago  
Teams Score Time
Tennessee   Thu 8:20pm
Jacksonville  
Teams Score Time
Ottawa 3 F
Toronto 1
Buffalo 1 F
Columbus 4
Carolina 3 F
Tampa Bay 0
Philadelphia 2 F/OT
New York 3
Chicago 3 F
Detroit 5
Dallas 2 F/OT
Minnesota 1
Vegas 5 F
Colorado 0
Anaheim 4 F
San Jose 3
Edmonton 2 F
Vancouver 4
Los Angeles 4 F
Arizona 1
Arizona 5 F
Los Angeles 0
Florida   7:00pm
Montreal  
New Jersey   7:00pm
New York  
St. Louis   7:00pm
Washington  
Tampa Bay   7:00pm
Carolina  
Toronto   7:30pm
Ottawa  
Minnesota   8:00pm
Winnipeg  
Detroit   8:30pm
Chicago  
San Jose   9:00pm
Calgary  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 24
2 4 Kevin Harvick 3
3 2 Brad Keselowski 18
4 9 Chase Elliott 8
5 12 Ryan Blaney 23
6 88 Alex Bowman 19
7 24 William Byron 14
8 42 Kyle Larson 15
9 22 Joey Logano 22
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 2 Tyler Reddick 4
2 20 Christopher Bell 2
3 19 Brandon Jones 6
4 00 Cole Custer 1
5 7 Justin Allgaier 3
6 9 Noah Gragson 36
7 08 Gray Gaulding 16
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 13
9 18 Riley Herbst 15
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9