Vladimir Tarasenko scores twice as Blues Stars beats in Game 1

ST. LOUIS – Vladimir Tarasenko added to his growing playoff resume.

Tarasenko scored two goals and the St. Louis Blues beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 Thursday night in the first game of the Western Conference semi-final of the teams.

Robby Fabbri also scored and Jordan Binnington provided 27 saves for the Blues, who lost three or four to Dallas in the regular season.

It was Tarasenko & # 39; s seventh career multi-goal game in the late season and tied him together with Bernie Federko as the second most in the franchise history.

"Only God-given talent," said blues coach Craig Berube. "He's a powerful guy who can skate. If he drives that wide, he's really hard to handle."

Jason Spezza and Jamie Benn scored for the Stars. Ben Bishop has made 17 saves.

Game 2 will be in St. Louis on Saturday, before the series goes to Dallas for the third and fourth game of the best-of-seven series.

Tarasenko & # 39; s power-play goal with 1:57 left in the second broke a 1-1 draw. It was the first power-play goal in 17 chances that the stars allowed this fall season.

"We talk a lot about the power game and we are working on it in practice and I will say that the hard work pays off and that it works well," said Tarasenko. "(Brayden Schenn) made a great pass and it created a good scoring opportunity for me."

Tarasenko gave the Blues a 3-1 lead over the 3:51 mark of the third period, skating through defender Miro Heiskanen and defeating Bishop with a shot in the top left corner.

"I just missed the poker check," said Bishop. "I would like to have it back, I just missed it and of course he put it in the net, he is a dangerous player and he is a good player and you can see why."

Blues forward Ryan O & # 39; Reilly got the game started deep in the defense zone.

"It's amazing how he can make something out of nothing," said O & # 39; Reilly. "That game in the corner, I just tried to throw the puck and he makes a game and gets it and drives wide and scores an incredible goal. That's just him. He is one of the few people in the game who does it can turn on and make those great games. "

Benn & # 39; s power-play goal with 2:17 left the Stars & # 39; deficit behind, but they couldn't catch the equalizer.

Binnington took the lead by sparing Spezza hard during a power-play from Dallas and an extensive save to rob Roope Hintz midway through the third.

"The defender and his defenders were extremely defensive this season and it was the same again tonight," said Binnington. "Just good discipline, good back control, good tracking and awareness in the D zone. It's good to be a keeper in this team."

Fabbri gave the Blues a 1-0 lead against 5:57 of the first and defeated Bishop between the legs of the right circle for his first goal of the playoffs. It was his first goal in 25 games, dating from November 23, 2018.

Spezza tied the game halfway through the second period by burying a one-timer on a pass from John Klingberg. It was his first goal in 23 games and his first in the playoffs since May 9, 2016 in St. Louis.

Stars coach Jim Montgomery said that Tarasenko was the difference.

"Well, I mean, he's an elite player, he's an elite scorer," Montgomery said. "He did it earlier in the year in St. Louis, so I think this is an area where we need to get better and a little harder for their best players."


Cardinal catcher Yadier Molina, who is a regular at blues home games, brought teammates Dexter Fowler, Michael Wacha and Dominic Leone to the game.

COMMENTS: This series marks the 14th time the Blues and Stars met in the late season, with St. Louis leading 7-6. . Bishop grew up in St. Louis and was originally drafted by the Blues in the third round (85th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. . The power play of the Blues was 10th in the competition (21.1 during the regular season, while the Stars Power game was 11th (21%). … Nine Blues players scored at least one goal and 15 of the 20 skaters from the team had at least one point in the first round.


Game two in St. Louis on Saturday.

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