Schwartz leads Blues past Jets in Game 6 to win playoff series

AP, ST LOUIS, Missouri

Mon, Apr 22, 2019 - Page 10

Jaden Schwartz on Saturday scored three times and goalie Jordan Binnington stopped 18 shots to help the St Louis Blues beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in Game 6 of their series to advance to the second round.

Schwartz scored just 11 times during the regular season and went through a frustrating 22-game scoreless drought from Dec. 20 last year to Feb. 12.

“Sometimes when pucks aren’t going in, the net doesn’t seem as big,” Schwartz said. “When you get a bounce, or a break, it seems like you can carry that over.”

However, Schwartz has four goals in the playoffs — the Blues’ last four goals. His tiebreaker with 15 seconds left in Game 5 helped set the stage for Saturday’s effort.

“We were aggressive today and we kind of played without fear,” Schwartz said.

The Blues advanced to the second round for the third time in four years.

They next face the winner of the Dallas Stars-Nashville Predators series.

Bryan Little and Dustin Byfuglien scored for Winnipeg, who tried to rally after falling behind 3-0 early in the third period. Connor Hellebuyck finished with 33 saves.

Schwartz pushed the lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal off a wrist shot with 7 minutes, 24 seconds left in the second period and completed the natural hat-trick early in the third.

It was the Blues first post-season hat-trick since Vladimir Tarasenko scored three times on April 18, 2015, against the Minnesota Wild.

The Blues had the fewest points in the league on Jan. 2 and appeared set to miss the playoffs for the second season in a row, but some soul-searching helped turn things around, team captain Pietrangelo said.

“We just kept pushing and looked hard in the mirror,” Pietrangelo said.

Stars 5, Predators 3

Alexander Radulov and Jason Dickinson each scored two goals as the visiting Dallas Stars won Game 5 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Nashville Predators.

The win gives the Stars a 3-2 edge in the series, putting them a victory away from advancing to the second round for just the second time in 11 seasons.

The Central Division-winning Predators are in danger of missing the second round for the first time in four seasons.

Jamie Benn had three assists for the Stars, while Tyler Seguin contributed a goal and an assist. The top line of Radulov, Benn and Seguin combined for 16 of the Stars’ 26 total shots. The trio has 16 total points in the series.

Capitals 6, Hurricanes 0

Nicklas Backstrom finished with two goals and two assists, while Alex Ovechkin added a goal and two assists, as the Washington Capitals pounded the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.