WINNIPEG • It was seven games in the making, but Ryan O'Reilly now has his first goal as a member of the St. Louis Blues. His second-period goal gave the Blues a 3-0 lead in what became a 4-1 victory Saturday over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"Yeah, I was hoping it would be a lot sooner but it was good," O'Reilly said. "It was a beautiful play. Patty Maroon working hard there, and (Vladimir) Tarasenko obviously with a beautiful pass.
Maroon started the play by winning a puck battle behind the Toronto net.
"It's nice to get it out of the way," O'Reilly said. "It's in the back of my head thinking about it, so it's nice to move on from that and just kinda get back, play my game."
O'Reilly had two new linemates Saturday, centering for Zach Sanford and David Perron. Judging by their production against Toronto, coach Mike Yeo won't be in a hurry to break up the trio. It combined for two goals and three assists.
"I thought 'O'Ry' was outstanding obviously in all areas of the game," Yeo said. "So that line gave us some really good minutes."
Acquired in a trade with Buffalo on July 1, O'Reilly has scored 20 or more goals in four of his past five seasons. Even with just the one goal so far this season, he shares the Blues' points lead with seven, thanks to his team-high six assists. Perron also has seven points, on four goals and three assists.
Even though he won only nine of 19 faceoffs against the Maple Leafs, O'Reilly has won 63.6 percent this season, which ranks second in the league among players with more than 50 faceoffs taken.
With a steady diet of power play and penalty kill time, O'Reilly leads all Blues forwards in ice time, averaging 21 minutes 17 seconds per game. Through Saturday's games, that was the 10th-highest total in the league among forwards.
TALES OF THE 4th LINE
Although it came in a penalty kill situation, Ivan Barbashev's empty-net goal against Toronto was the first scored by a member of the Blues' fourth line this season.
And speaking of the fourth line, Sammy Blais and Jordan Kyrou both played only 11 shifts against the Maple Leafs and neither had a shot attempt — meaning a shot on goal, a shot that was blocked, or a shot that missed the net. Blais (7:42) and Kyrou (7:01) both had season-lows in ice time.
ON THE MINUS SIDE
A reflection of the team's lopsided lack of even strength goals, the Blues didn't have a single player on the plus side in plus/minus differential entering the Toronto game.
They have two now. Joel Edmundson is plus-2 in five games; he missed the season's first two contests with a groin injury. Zach Sanford is plus-1; he's played in only two games after being called up from San Antonio last Monday.
In his last four starts against Toronto, Jake Allen is 4-0-0, with a 1.75 goals-against average and a save percentage of .938.
Defensemen Robert Bortuzzo (17:45) and Jordan Schmaltz (14:56) both had season highs in ice time.
After flying to Winnipeg on Sunday from Toronto, the Blues held an optional skate at the Winnipeg Jets' practice facility.