Blues recover, defeat Maple Leafs in shootout
Brayden Schenn had a goal and two assists and scored the deciding goal in the shootout for the St. Louis Blues in a 6-5 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday.
“It’s huge,” Schenn said. “It’s a building block, something to build on for sure. We can be better in the third period, but they came at us hard and we weathered the storm. It’s a chance for us to build on something here at the beginning of the road trip.”
Brandon Saad scored twice, Jordan Kyrou had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Binnington made 20 saves for the Blues (18-17-3), who went 2-for-2 on the power play and scored while short-handed.
St. Louis started a four-game road trip without center Ryan O’Reilly (foot) and forward Vladimir Tarasenko (hand) because of injury.
“Guys stepped up, and that’s what we need do looking forward,” Kyrou said. “We just have to focus on what we have in the room right now and what we can do to step up and win. We just have to work and compete, same as always. Win our battles and just play good defensively.”
Auston Matthews reached 501 NHL points with a goal and an assist, Michael Bunting had two goals and an assist, William Nylander had a goal and two assists and Ilya Samsonov made 27 saves for the Maple Leafs (23-8-7), who trailed by two goals midway through the second period.
“Probably not our prettiest game,” Matthews said. “I think just some competitive parts weren’t there at times, and at times they were. You could see them begin to take over the game.
“I think there were just too many lost battles, and they were heavy on pucks and they were competing, and so I thought just a little bit of an uglier game for us, just trading chances. I don’t think that’s the way any team wants to play, certainly not
Saad gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 4:52 of the first period with a short-handed goal when he cut around Mitchell Marner in the slot and shot between Samsonov’s pads.
Schenn extended the lead to 2-0 at 13:01 on the power play. Kyrou’s shot from the high slot hit Alexander Kerfoot, then Schenn’s skate at the side of the net.
Pierre Engvall cut it to 2-1 at 17:28 on a redirection of Kerfoot’s shot at the bottom of the right face-off circle.
Kyrou made it 3-1 at 3:09 of the second, scoring on a rebound of Schenn’s shot past a sprawling Samsonov.
Nylander cut it to 3-2 at 4:38 with a one-timer from Bunting in the high slot. Matthews had an assist for his 500th NHL point.
“There’s definitely some special meaning behind it just with the history of this organization, the players that have come and worn this jersey before us, so I’ve been fortunate every year to play with some great players and have a great team around us, so it definitely means a lot,” Matthews said.
Josh Leivo scored on his own rebound to give the Blues a 4-2 lead at 10:28, but Bunting cut it to 4-3 at 10:45 when he put in a rebound at the side of the net.
Saad made it 5-3 one minute later at 11:45. It was his 10th goal of the season.
“It’s a next-man-up mentality,” Saad said. “We’re missing players, but we’re focused on our group and what we can do here and that was a big character win for us tonight.
“I think everyone in this room thinks we’ve underachieved. For me myself, I know I can score goals, so it’s just playing the right way every night and the goals will come.”
Matthews cut it to 5-4 at 14:37 when he took a pass from Nylander and shot past Binnington’s glove from the right dot.
Bunting tied it 5-5 at 7:55 of the third period on the power play.
Samsonov’s streak of nine straight home wins to start the season ended.
“I thought he should have had, I’d like to see him get the first save on the short-handed goal,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “I know it’s not the easiest save because he’s moving, but you’d like a save on that one. Aside from that, I don’t know if there’s a lot he can do. … I’m not down on the goaltending. When we play better as a team, everybody looks better, everybody is better. This is certainly not on the goaltending tonight, not even close.”
Tonight's lineup pic.twitter.com/09piJcLUz3
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 3, 2023
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 4, 2023
Auston Matthews (25 years, 108 days) became the fourth-youngest active player at the time of his 500th career point, trailing only Sidney Crosby (22 years, 244 days), Connor McDavid (24 years, 35 days) and Alex Ovechkin (24 years, 140 days).#NHLStats: https://t.co/35dOvJmPfG pic.twitter.com/99QZmqwMTN
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 4, 2023
AM34 ➡️ AM500
Auston Matthews (278-223—501 in 445 GP) is now the fastest player in @MapleLeafs history to accumulate 500 career points with the franchise, surpassing Mats Sundin and Rick Vaive (both w/ 495 GP). #NHLStats: https://t.co/35dOvJmhq8 pic.twitter.com/igqwShp2Qq
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 4, 2023