Binnington and Blues top Oilers 2-0 to remain unbeaten
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Jordan Binnington made 23 saves for the shutout as the St. Louis Blues remained perfect on the season with a 2-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Torey Krug and Justin Faulk scored for the Blues (3-0-0), who have had plenty of practice time with a light schedule to start the season.
“Whenever we have No. 50 in the pipes there is always a chance at that (shutout), but we had a great game plan, attention to detail,” said Krug. “We got one early and we were able to shutout their time and space and our guys did a great job.”
The Oilers dropped to 2-3-0 on their season-starting six-game homestand.
“They are a good team, that’s a playoff team,” said Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl of the opponents. “They have won before, they know how to play a tight-checking game. So did we, I thought, for the most part. But we were a little sloppy in some areas.
“We didn’t have much going offensively tonight.”
Oilers goalie Jack Campbell had 21 saves in the loss.
St. Louis started the scoring on the power play five minutes into the opening period as Krug beat Campbell with a long blast from the point.
“We have a good team and we did a great job tonight, a full 60 minutes,” Binnington said. “We were disciplined and it was good to find a way to win in those tight games, too.”
It could have been worse but Campbell made a big glove save to stop a breakaway by Jordan Kyrou. The goalie then in the second period stopped a point-blank shot from Brett Kulak.
Blues goalie Binnington was called on to make a huge stop of his own with three minutes left in the middle period, making a sprawling glove save on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins during a scramble in front to keep it a one-goal game.
Edmonton pressed in the third but couldn’t score on Binnington.
“We’re not in the business of taking moral victories. We’re in the business of getting better each day,” said Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft. “That was a good team we played tonight. There was some good in our game, but there has to be more for us to get the result we want to get.
“The record isn’t where we want it to be. But we’re talking about the St. Louis Blues, and we held them to the low 20s in shots today. Five-on-five it was a 0-0 hockey game.”
The Blues were able to put the game away with a minute left as Faulk lifted a shot from the corner off the faceoff that went 200 feet to the center of the empty net.
Both teams finished with 49 wins last season and were eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche in the playoffs. ... Since the start of last season, the Blues and Oilers have the top two power plays in the NHL. ... The Blues had nine 20-goal scorers on their roster last year, eight of whom are back with the team this year… The Blues were without Logan Brown (upper body), Marco Scandella (hip) and Scott Perunovich (shoulder), while the Oilers were missing the services of Dylan Holloway (upper body)... Former Oilers player and bench-boss Craig MacTavish coached his first game in Rogers Place, now serving as an assistant coach for the Blues. MacTavish was head coach of the Oilers from 2000 to 2009.
Blues: travel to Winnipeg on Monday to close out a three-game road trip.
Oilers: host Pittsburgh to finish off the six-game homestand.