ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ivan Barbashev and Jake Neighbours scored 20 seconds apart in the third period and Jordan Binnington made 23 saves to help the St. Louis Blues to a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice for St. Louis, which was the last of the NHL’s 32 teams to open its season.
Gustav Nyquist and Sean Kuraly tallied 18 seconds apart in the second period for Columbus, which has lost its first three games.
Barbashev snapped a 2-all tie with a wrist shot from the slot with 9:17 left in the third period. Neighbours then doubled the lead with a backhander from close range.
Binnington, who stopped 62 of 64 shots in the preseason, halted Eric Robinson on a breakaway in the final period.
Pavel Buchnevich also scored for St. Louis, which bolted out to a 2-0 lead.
The Blue Jackets are without Patrik Laine, who will miss three to four weeks with an elbow injury suffered in an opening night loss at Carolina. Laine has 177 goals in 408 games over his seven-year career.
Elvis Merzlikins made 20 saves in his season debut for Columbus.
JOHNNY HOCKEY HITS MILESTONE
Columbus LW Johnny Gaudreau recorded his 400th career assist on the Blue Jackets’ first goal by Nyquist early in the second period. Gaudreau is in his 10th season in the NHL.
St. Louis C Logan Brown missed the contest with a shoulder injury. He is listed as day-to-day,
GOAL SCORING MACHINE
The Blues did not get shut out last season for only the second time in franchise history. They also scored at least one goal in every game during the 1981-82 campaign.
Blue Jackets: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday
Blues: Play in Seattle on Wednesday in the first of a three-game road trip.