Blues Down Jets for 2-0 Series Lead – Sundqvist Tallies Two

WINNIPEG — Oskar Sundqvist scored twice to propel the St. Louis Blues to a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday in Game 2 of their Western Conference opening-round playoff series.

The Blues lead the best-of-seven matchup 2-0 and host Game 3 on Sunday.

Pat Maroon and Ryan O’Reilly, with the game-winner, also scored for St. Louis.

Rookie netminder Jordan Binnington made 26 saves for the visitors.

St. Louis Blues' Jordan Binnington
St. Louis Blues’ Jordan Binnington (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and one assist for Winnipeg. Patrik Laine also scored and Dustin Byfuglien contributed a pair of assists.

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 28 shots for the Jets.

O’Reilly gave the Blues the 4-3 lead at 3:46 of the third when he used Jets defenceman Ben Chiarot as a screen to beat Hellebuyck on the blocker side. It was his first playoff goal since 2014 while he was with Colorado.

The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period and 3-3 following the second.

The first and second periods featured good and bad times for Scheifele.

The Jets went on the power play 3:58 into the first period after O’Reilly was called for tripping, but Scheifele took an interference penalty 1:03 into the man advantage.

After Winnipeg defenceman Josh Morrissey bobbled the puck in the neutral zone, Sundqvist and Jay Bouwmeester capitalized with a two-on-one and Sundqvist beat Hellebuyck at 5:23.

St. Louis Blues Oskar Sundqvist
St. Louis Blues Oskar Sundqvist (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

Scheifele was dinged for another interference penalty two minutes later, and then with 17 seconds remaining in the penalty kill, Jets forward Andrew Copp was sent to the box for cross-checking.

The Jets survived and Scheifele made up for it when he sent a pass from behind the net out to Wheeler for the captain’s goal at 12:01.

Shots on goal were tied 8-8 after the first.

With Blues defenceman Robert Bortuzzo off for interference, Laine blasted a shot past Binnington for a 2-1 lead at 2:49 that sparked chants of “Go Jets Go.”

St. Louis quieted down the crowd by responding with goals by Maroon and Sundqvist by the 9:50 mark, but Scheifele stepped up with a power-play goal to tie it 3-3 with 1:05 left in the second.

The Blues held a 23-14 margin in shots on goal after two periods.

Bortuzzo went to the dressing with a bleeding wrist midway through the third period, but returned.

Notes: Jets forward Mathieu Perreault left the morning skate early with an undisclosed injury and didn’t play, but winger Brandon Tanev returned after missing three games with a hand injury..

Judy Owen, The Canadian Press