Edmonton Oilers cannot clear up Binnington in 2-Zero loss to St Louis Blues
EDMONTON — The St Louis Blues remain the only perfect team in the NHL, even if it remains a small sample size with just three games under their collective belt.
Jordan Binnington made 23 saves for the shutout as the Blues stayed undefeated on the young season with a 2-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday afternoon.
“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 Blues defender Torey Krug, who scored his team’s first goal. “We got one early and we were able to shut out their time and space and our guys did a great job.”
Justin Faulk also scored for the Blues (3-0-0) who had plenty of practice time with a light schedule to start the season.
“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.”
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 made 21 saves in the loss.
St. Louis started scoring on the power play five minutes into the opening period as Krug beat Campbell with a long blast from the point.
Campbell got back in the fans’ good books not long after when he made a big glove save on a breakaway opportunity by Jordan Kyrou.
A Brett Kulak giveaway led to yet another golden opportunity for Kyrou 12 minutes into a fast-paced second period, but his point-blank shot was once again gathered up by Campbell.
Blues goalie Binnington was called on to make a huge stop of his own with three minutes left in the middle frame, making a sprawling glove save on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins during a scramble in front to keep it a one-goal game.
The shots were just 15-14 in favor of Edmonton through 40 minutes.
Edmonton pressed in the third but couldn’t solve Binnington.
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.
Each team only had one power play in the contest, with the Blues’ ability to convert on theirs being the difference.
“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.”
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). … Due to cap issues, Edmonton once again had to ice a lineup featuring 11 forwards and seven defensemen. … 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.
Both teams return to action on Monday. The Oilers finish a six-game homestand against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blues travel to Winnipeg to face the Jets to close out a three-game road trip.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2022.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press