The Playoff Buzzer: Big night for Blues’ Binnington, Barbashev and Bozak

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  • The St. Louis Blues matched a franchise record for playoff wins in a single postseason.
  • Jordan Binnington was outstanding in net.
  • Ivan Barbashev picks a great time for his first goal of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

St. Louis Blues 2, San Jose Sharks 1 (Series tied 2-2)

The St. Louis Blues’ power play has been a big trouble spot this postseason but is finally starting to show some signs of life. It scored the game-winning goal on Friday night in a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks to even the Western Conference Final at two games apiece. After that goal, which gave the Blues a 2-0 first period lead, everything fell on the play of their defense and starting goalie Jordan Binnington, and all of them were up to the challenge to help them bounce back from Wednesday’s controversial overtime defeat.

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Three Stars

1. Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues. He has been a little up-and-down throughout these playoffs and that has been especially true in the Western Conference Final series against the Sharks. He has had two tough games, giving up five goals in each, and two outstanding games. Friday was one of the outstanding games as he stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced in the Blues’ huge Game 4 win. It was also a night of milestones for him (more on that in a bit in the factoids).

2. Ivan Barbashev, St. Louis Blues. Barbashev picked a great time to score his first goal of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, scoring just 35 seconds into the first period to help get things started. A fast start is always important, but it was especially true for the Blues in this game after the way Game 3 went for them. Falling down early after that loss would have been a potentially crushing swing, but they were able to get out in front early and never look back.

3. Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks. This result wasn’t his fault. Not even close. Jones was actually one of the biggest reasons this game was still reasonably close early on as the Blues dominated the scoring chances early in the game and really carried the play at the start. Bozak’s game-winning goal was a fluky play that went in off of his teammates skate and he mostly played well enough to get the result. He was the tough-luck loser in Game 4. Sometimes it happens.

Highlights of the Night

This is the fast start the St. Louis Blues needed.

Sometimes you need a little bit of luck, and the Blues definitely got some here when Bozak was credited with the power play goal that turned out to be the difference in the game.

One of Binnington’s best saves of the night is this one as he casually snags Melker Karlsson‘s shot out of the air after Karlsson found himself wide open in front of the net.

Factoids

  • Friday’s win is St. Louis’ 10th of the postseason, tying a franchise record for most wins in a single postseason. [NHL PR]
  • Speaking of those 10 wins, Binnington has been in net for all 10 of them and is the first goalie in Blues franchise history to win 10 games in a single postseason. [NHL PR]
  • He is also the 10th rookie goalie to win 10 games in a single postseason. [NHL PR]

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.