ST. LOUIS (AP)Pavel Buchnevich scored a wrap-around goal 53 seconds into overtime and the St. Louis Blues beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 Tuesday night.
The Blues earned a split in their back-to-back with Florida. Both games went to overtime.
”I just see (Sam) Bennett, I know he’s a forward and I can beat him,” Buchnevich said of the winner. ”I beat him wide and I feel I can take a shot. Goalie goes down and I can go around the net.”
Brandon Saad’s tip of Ivan Barbashev’s shot broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Blues their first lead of the game with 13:12 left in the third period.
”I was kind of just in the area, have your stick in the right place,” Saad said. ”It just deflected off me and went in. … Sometimes you’ve got to be lucky out there.”
Jonathan Huberdeau’s goal for the Panthers with 5:32 left tied it for the third time.
Blues goalie Ville Husso left the game after Huberdeau’s goal, with Charlie Lindgren making his St. Louis debut in relief. Blues coach Craig Berube said Husso suffered a lower-body injury before the goal.
Defenseman Jake Walman left the game at the same time with an upper-body injury, leaving an already depleted Blues team with just 11 players on the bench.
”We were short-handed, that’s for sure,” Berube said. ”You know, guys battled, I’m proud of them. They worked and came through.”
No update on either player was given after the game.
Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist and Brayden Schenn also scored for the Blues. Husso made 34 saves.
Aleksander Barkov and Brandon Montour also scored for the Panthers, while Maxim Mamin and Carter Verhaeghe each had two assists. Spencer Knight made 26 saves as Florida had its three-game winning streak snapped.
Barkov gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at the 6:49 mark of the first period, tucking in a perfect feed from Mamin on an odd-man rush.
Husso was the lone bright spot for St. Louis in an opening period dominated by Florida. One game after making 48 saves, a league high this season, Husso made 19 saves as the Panthers outshot St. Louis 20-5.
”Obviously, he played a good game,” Montour said. ”I feel like we had a couple right in front of the net where we might score usually, but it is what it is. Something happens like that, you can’t score every time. The guys, you know, battled hard and we got one point out of that.”
The Blues capitalized on their first sustained pressure of the game as Tarasenko buried a wrist shot from the right circle to even the game at 1 at the 4:20 mark of the second period.
”They’re a good hockey team, they transition well, they have speed, talent, skill, so I think we were lucky to get out of that first period 1-0 and then it was just refocus, reset, play a little smarter and be consistent,” Saad said.
It took the Panthers just 52 seconds to answer as Montour’s shot found its way through traffic and into the upper right corner.
Schenn’s power-play goal with 6:26 left in the second drew the Blues even once again.
Barkov (lower body) returned after missing eight games following a knee-on-knee collision during a 6-1 win over the Islanders on Nov. 16. Barkov, the team’s captain, had 17 points in 15 games before the injury.
But Barkov left in the third period with an unrelated, undisclosed injury. Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette called it ”a little tweak.”
”I don’t know exactly what or where,” Brunette said. ”So, he’ll be re-evaluated and I’ll get updated probably soon enough here.”
Blues F Robert Thomas (lower body) was scratched, joining a growing list of notable performers who are unavailable including F David Perron (upper body), F James Neal (upper body) and C Klim Kostin (upper body), while C Tyler Bozak, G Jordan Binnington and D Justin Faulk are each in COVID-19 protocol.
Due to salary cap restraints, the Blues are unable to call up another player, meaning they where a skater short going with 10 forwards and seven defensemen.
Panthers: travel to Arizona on Friday.
Blues: host Detroit on Thursday.
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