ST. LOUIS — Oskar Sundqvist and David Perron scored to lead the St. Louis Blues past the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Tuesday night, spoiling Pat Maroon’s much-anticipated return after helping his hometown team to a Stanley Cup title last season.
Maroon, a St. Louis native, made his first trip back to the city since signing a one-year contract with the Lightning in the off-season. He scored the game-winning goal in double overtime of Game 7 against Dallas in the second round of the 2019 playoffs to send the Blues to the Western Conference final for the second time in four years.
Before the opening faceoff, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong presented Maroon with his Stanley Cup championship ring on the ice with former teammate Vladimir Taraskeno, who is out with an injury, alongside as well. Maroon received a standing ovation and as he waved to the crowd, the fans responded with thunderous cheers.
St. Louis grabbed a 2-1 lead in the third period when Sundqvist hit a wrist shot from the right circle. He received a pretty drop pass from Robert Thomas and beat Andrei Vasilevskiy at the 6:16 mark.
Vasilevskiy made 31 saves.
Jaden Schwartz added an empty-net goal at 19:55 to make it 3-1.
The defending Stanley Cup champions were 0-1-2 in their previous three games.
Tampa Bay struck first when Anthony Cirelli scored at 16:36 of the first period. From behind the red line, Alex Killorn got the puck from Victor Hedman. Killorn saw Cirelli, who was parked at the top of the crease, and snapped a quick pass. Cirelli’s wrist shot went through the legs of Jordan Binnington for his third goal of the season.
The Blues outshot the Lightning 18-4 and were on the power play three times in the second but only produced one goal. Tampa Bay had one power-play chance in the period.
Perron got his ninth goal to tie it 1-all when he tapped in a rebound of Colton Parayko’s shot from in front at 17:24. Perron just played in his 800th NHL game and 500th with the Blues on Saturday.
Earlier in the period, Binnington made back-to-back, highlight-reel saves on short-handed attempts by the Lightning. Binnington finished with 17 stops.
St. Louis swept the season series in 2018-19, winning both games by one goal. The Blues are 9-3-0 in their last 12 against the Lightning and 7-1-0 in the last eight meetings at Enterprise Center. The Lightning have four wins all-time at St. Louis in 21 attempts.
Blues C Ryan O’Reilly has no goals in 11 home games. … The Blues opted for rest and did not skate Tuesday morning. … Syracuse Crunch (AHL) forward Cory Conacher was recalled to the Lightning for the second time this season. Conacher’s first trip lasted only a day, however, and he didn’t crack the Tampa Bay lineup. The 29-year-old Conacher has skated in 16 games with the Crunch this season, posting five goals and 12 points to go along with 17 penalty minutes. He has appeared in 189 NHL games over six seasons, collecting 28 goals and 74 points.
Lightning: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
Blues: Host the Calgary Flames on Thursday.
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Warren Mayes, The Associated Press