(Saint Paul) Vladimir Tarasenko scored three straight third period goals as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-2 on Tuesday in Game 5 of their first-round series.
Ryan O’Reilly scored his fourth goal of the series, while Brandon Saad tied the game 2-2 late in the second period for the Blues, who lead the series 3-2.
Kirill Kaprizov had given the Wild the lead with two power-play goals in the first period. Kaprizov has scored seven goals since the start of the series, a team record.
The Wild are 4-for-19 on the power play and Kaprizov has scored three of those goals.
The action now moves to St. Louis for Game 6, scheduled for Thursday. The Colorado Avalanche await the winner of the series after sweeping the Nashville Predators.
Jordan Binnington made 30 saves in net for the Blues. He made a second start in a row in relief at Ville Husso. On the Wild side, Marc-André Fleury stopped 27 shots.
Pavel Buchnevich got rid of Jacob Middleton and set the table for Tarasenko’s game-winning goal 63 seconds into the third period.
Tarasenko returned just 1:28 later, moving the ropes with a good wrist shot. He completed his hat trick with 1:33 to go, shooting into an empty net.
The Blues were counting on the returns of defenders Robert Bortuzzo and Nick Leddy, who had missed the previous two games with upper-body injuries. Defenders Torey Krug and Marco Scandella, however, skipped their turn on Tuesday due to lower-body injuries.