EDMONTON, Alberta -- Well, it had to happen sometime, right? On their 22nd day in the Edmonton bubble and in their seventh attempt to win a hockey game here, the St. Louis Blues were successful Sunday night.
Playing in their road whites, they defeated pesky Vancouver 3-2 at Rogers Place, trimming the Canucks' lead in the best-of-seven series to two games to one. Brayden Schenn scored the game winner on a breakaway with 4:54 left in OT. The group exhale by the Blues probably could be felt all the way back in St. Louis.
Perhaps they can make a series out of this after all. After Sunday's victory, the Blues need to win three of five games to keep playing. Still a daunting task, but obviously much more manageable than being down 3-0 in the series.
They get back at it in less than 24 hours, with another 9:30 p.m. (Central) start Monday. It's the Blues' first set of back-to-back games in the playoffs since 2004 against the San Jose Sharks.
With Jordan Binnington struggling, coach Craig Berube decided to make a switch in goal, going with Jake Allen. In statistics that include round-robin play, Binnington ranks 34th among 35 goalies who have appeared in the postseason this year in goals-against average at 4.27. He's tied for 33rd in save percentage at .862.
Dating back to the start of the team's playoff run last year, Binnington had started 28 consecutive playoff games. (That's not including the round-robin contests here.)
For Allen, it was his first playoff start -- in an elimination series -- since the 2016-17 season against Nashville, and only his second start in the Edmonton bubble. He lost 2-1 in a shootout Aug. 9 against Dallas, stopping 37 of 38 shots in the Blues' round-robin finale.
Entering Sunday's contest, the Blues had been 0-5-1 here and were oustscored 23-11 in the process. (Those totals included a 4-0 exhibition loss to Chicago.)
A scoreless third period sent the Blues and Canucks into overtime for the second game in a row, this time tied 2-2 Sunday night at Rogers Place.
After a bit of a shaky start in the third period, the Blues started taking control with solid forechecking and zone time. Brayden Schenn, who has been hitting everything in sight but hasn't done much offensively, had a good chance in close with 11:50 to play but couldn't connect.