COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the first time in more than three weeks, the Blues have won consecutive games.
With Saturday night’s 5-2 win over the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena, the Blues strung together two straight wins for the first time since winning their first three games after the All-Star break. The day after the three-game win streak, the Blues traded captain Ryan O’Reilly to Toronto, and St. Louis lost eight of the next nine games.
The Blues can run their streak to three when they host the Golden Knights on Sunday night at Enterprise Center.
Jordan Kyrou’s hat trick led the Blues, as he set a career high with 29 goals this season. It was his second hat trick of the season, following one in Vancouver in December.
The new-look third line on Brandon Saad (one, goal, one assist), Brayden Schenn (two assists) and Sammy Blais (one goal, two assists) combined for seven points on the night.
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Thomas Greiss made 37 saves, and he has won both his starts in March.
Patrik Laine (power play) and Boone Jenner (six on five) scored for the Blue Jackets.
The Blues have feasted on the NHL’s worst teams in recent days, as the Blue Jackets are the worst team in the league in both points and points percentage. The Sharks, who the Blues beat 4-2 on Thursday night, own the second-worst points percentage in the league.
The Blues’ next two games (vs. Vegas on Sunday and vs. Minnesota on Wednesday) are against teams currently in a playoff position.
The Blue Jackets are the fourth team that the Blues have swept this season, joining Florida, San Jose and New Jersey.
Welcome to the Blais ShowBlais entered Saturday’s game with one career NHL game with three points. He equaled that in the first period alone vs. Columbus.
Blais picked up the primary assist on Saad’s goal that gave the Blues a 1-0 lead, finding Saad on the backdoor after Schenn entered the zone cleanly. Saad stuffed the puck past Blue Jackets goalie Michael Hutchinson’s right pad, barely crossing the goalline and giving him his 17th goal of the season.
The goal was initially credited to Blais, but later given to Saad.
Patrik Laine tied the game for the Blue Jackets on the power play, ripping a cross-seam one-timer from Johnny Gaudreau, moments after Kirill Marchenko nearly scored on his own. It was the third power play goal the Blues have allowed in the last four games after allowing zero in the previous five.
Just over four minutes later, Blais helped the Blues regain the lead. After a collision with Columbus defenseman Andrew Peeke at the blue line, Blais ushered the puck out of the zone, and gave Kyrou and Thomas space on the rush. Kyrou won the race to the backdoor with Erik Gudbranson, and Thomas flipped a backhand right on to his stick.
With the goal, Kyrou tied his career-high with his 27th goal of the season, and then surpassed it in the third period. Last season, he scored 27 goals in 74 games.
Then Blais got in on the scoring himself.
Schenn and Saad combined to force a Blue Jackets turnover coming out of their own zone, and Saad fed a wide-open Blais for a one-timer below the dot. The goal was Blais’ fourth goal since coming back to St. Louis in the Vladimir Tarasenko trade. He did not score in any of his 54 games with the Rangers.
Blais only had one four-point game in professional hockey, and it came in 2017 as a member of the Chicago Wolves. That night, he had assists on goals by Wade Megan and Kenny Agostino (two) in addition to scoring his own goal.
Greiss opens third strongGreiss held the Blue Jackets at bay in the early minutes of the third period, making 10 saves in the first 5:12 of the frame.
Columbus had four shots in the first 26 seconds of the period, then generated a scramble at the net-front while shorthanded. During the scramble, Greiss appeared to have the puck between his pads, but it squirted loose before he covered with his glove. Torey Krug took a roughing penalty that ended the St. Louis power play.
Greiss also parried two shots on the ensuing Blue Jackets power play, and got help from the post as Laine tried to score his second of the night. At the first television timeout at 6:53 of the third period, the Blue Jackets had a 13-1 edge in shots on goal.
The frantic third period followed a sleepy second period in which the teams combined for 15 shots on goal, and neither team scored. The only penalty of the period came when Alexey Toropchenko was roughed by Mathieu Olivier behind the Columbus net. The Blues did not score on the power play.
The Blues hit two posts in the second period, one by Jakub Vrana and another by Kyrou.