PITTSBURGH — Jordan Binnington made 40 saves, and the St. Louis Blues ended a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.
Vince Dunn scored two goals, and Pat Maroon had one goal and one assist for the Blues (37-27-7), who scored three total goals in three straight losses. They are third in the Central Division, seven points behind the Winnipeg Jets, six behind the Nashville Predators and two ahead of the Dallas Stars.
“We had a lot of emotion,” Binnington said. “I think that’s important this time of year. We were playing hard for each other.”
[WATCH: All Blues vs. Penguins highlights]
Matt Murray made nine saves on 13 shots for the Penguins (39-24-9), whose three-game winning streak ended. Pittsburgh is third in the Metropolitan Division, four points behind the Washington Capitals, two behind the New York Islanders, two ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes and three ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“I think our mentality has to be a playoff one,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “Sometimes it doesn’t go your way. You’ve got to be able to forget about it.”
Murray was pulled at 2:41 of the second period, and Casey DeSmith made 12 saves in relief.
“It’s more quality than quantity, I think,” Murray said. “They got a few really good chances. I wasn’t able to make a save. So I definitely have to be better. As a team, I think we played a pretty good game for the most part. So we have to take the positives from it and forget the result.”
Binnington lost two of his previous three starts and three of his previous six. The rookie has not lost two consecutive starts in 22 decisions this season (17-4-1).
Oskar Sundqvist gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 4:56 of the first period. After taking a pass from Jaden Schwartz, Sundqvist sent a one-timer past a screen from Colton Parayko for his 13th goal of the season.
Dunn made it 2-0 at 13:34 of the first when he scored on a snap shot from the slot.
Maroon extended the lead to 3-0 at 1:31 of the second period by tipping in a shot from Robert Thomas, and Jay Bouwmeester scored on a one-timer from the slot to make it 4-0 at 2:41 of the second.
Dominik Simon cut it to 4-1 with a spinning wrist shot from the right face-off circle at 9:53 of the second, and Dunn made it 5-1 on a power-play goal with 6:03 remaining in the third.
“Obviously, you’re not creating those [goals] by yourself,” Dunn said. “The forwards did a great job pressuring them and getting the puck back when we got it in. They found us up high. The forwards played really well tonight. The [defensemen] got their pucks through.”
They said it
“I thought we started the game off really well, which is a key here in this rink. [The Penguins] start fast. I thought that we got the puck in deep, went to work, controlled the play in the offensive zone. That was a big key, I think, for us tonight.” — Blues coach Craig Berube
“We knew we were going to play a team that was going to play with a certain level of desperation. They had lost a couple in a row. They’re fighting for the playoffs. They’re a proud team, and they’re a good team. So we knew we were going to have to bring a certain level of urgency right from the drop of the puck.” — Penguins coach Mike Sullivan
Need to know
The Blues have three defensemen with at least 10 goals for the first time. Alex Pietrangelo has 12 goals, Dunn has 11 and Parayko has 10. … Blues first-line right wing David Perron returned after missing 24 games with an upper-body injury. He extended his personal point streak to 14 games with an assist on Dunn’s first goal. Perron has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) during that stretch. … Penguins defenseman Kris Letang missed a 10th straight game with an upper-body injury; forward Bryan Rust was sidelined for a ninth straight game because of a lower-body injury. Each took full contact for the first time during practice Friday. … The Penguins honored forward Evgeni Malkin for reaching 1,000 NHL points before the game. He got to 1,000 points with two assists in a 5-3 win against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. He was presented with several gifts, including a plaque made of steel from the Civic Arena, where the Penguins played from 1967-2010. … Linesman David Brisebois left the game because of an undisclosed injury. Linesman Darren Gibbs replaced him.
Blues: At the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NHLN, MSG-B, FS-MW, NHL.TV)
Penguins: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS, NHL.TV)