NHL: Blues stay hot in wild-card pursuit, extend Flames’ skid

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Pavel Buchnevich scored twice to lead the St. Louis Blues past the visiting Calgary Flames 5-3 on Thursday night.

Jake Neighbours had a goal and an assist for the Blues, who are 7-1-1 in their last nine games. Zack Bolduc and Brandon Saad also scored and Torey Krug had two assists.

Jordan Binnington made 25 saves and earned two assists during his winning performance. With the win, St. Louis (39-30-4, 82 points) is six points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot.

Andrei Kuzmenko scored twice for the Flames (33-34-5, 71 points), who have lost five consecutive games. Jonathan Huberdeau also scored, MacKenzie Weegar had two assists and Dustin Wolf made 14 saves.

The Blues took a 1-0 lead 13:02 into the game off a rush goal triggered by Binnington’s outlet pass. Bolduc cut across the front of the net to convert a return pass from Alexey Toropchenko.

Kuzmenko tied the score with 5:12 left in the first period with a great individual effort. He stole the puck from defenseman Justin Faulk behind the net, then stepped in to beat Binnington with a one-on-one move.

Calgary moved ahead 2-1 with a power-play goal with 1:23 left in the period. Weegar fired a wrist shot from the center point and Huberdeau deflected it in.

Neighbours tied the score 2-2 by lunging to sweep the rebound of Colton Parayko’s point shot into the net 3:27 into the second period.

With Nazem Kadri serving a double-minor penalty for high-sticking, Buchenvich scored a power-play goal from the left faceoff dot to put the Blues up 3-2.

The Flames tied the score 3-3 with 3:10 left in the second period. Kadri backhanded the puck toward the net from the slot and Kuzmenko deflected it in.

Saad extended his goal-scoring streak to four games by converting Jordan Kyrou’s pass from behind the net, putting the Blues up 4-3 2:04 into the third period.

With Wolf off the ice for an extra attacker, Buchnevich scored an empty-net goal with 1:15 left to seal the victory.

–Field Level Media

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