Couture scores two goals, Sharks hold off rallying Blues 5-4
By WARREN MAYES
ST. LOUIS (AP) Logan Couture scored his second goal of the game midway through the third period and the San Jose Sharks held off the St. Louis Blues 5-4 on Saturday night.
After the Blues overcame deficits of 3-0 and 4-1 to tie it during a wild second period, Couture scored on a wrist shot with 8:09 left in the third. The puck deflected off goalie Jordan Binnington's back and in. It was Couture's team-leading ninth goal.
"I'm counted on to score goals and produce offensively," Couture said. "I want to score and help our team. "
The Sharks entered 0-7-1 in their previous eight against the Blues dating to the 2019 playoffs.
Brayden Schenn, Zach Sanford, Ryan O'Reilly and Jordan Kyrou scored for St. Louis. The Sharks also got goals from Evander Kane, Rudolfs Balcers and Patrick Marleau.
"When you score five goals on the road, you don't expect this much trouble," Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. "It's easy to get rattled when you give up a three-goal lead. We just kept coming. We played a really good (third) period."
Sharks goalie Devan Dubnyk, who had not started since Feb. 6 due to a minor injury, made 28 saves and improved to 1-3-1. It was his first win since March 8, 2020 at Anaheim.
"We figured we'd make it exciting," Dubnyk said jokingly. "It was disappointing to be 4-4, but we went and got it in the third period. There was desperation out there and we worked extremely hard."
Binnington stopped 22 shots.
San Jose scored two goals in the first period off turnovers. The Sharks went up 1-0 at 7:24 when Kane scored with a wrist shot on an assist by Kevin Labanc, who was playing in his 300th career game. A turnover by Sanford began the play.
Couture scored at 10:10 when he tipped the puck from just outside the crease. A bad clearing attempt by Binnington intended for Carl Gunnarsson was picked up by Labanc, who quickly passed to an open Couture.
"We had a couple turnovers and they countered off of them," St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. "One was a goalie handle, and it was unfortunate, but just in general, a couple turnovers went in our net and it's stuff that we know what we're supposed to do and know where we're supposed to be."
The Sharks went up 3-0 when Balcers scored from just outside the crease at 3:48 of the second period.
St. Louis cut the gap to 3-1 when Schenn flipped in the puck at 4:45. Mike Hoffman, who has 11 points in his last 11 games, passed to Kyrou. From behind the net, Kyrou fed Schenn for the goal.
Marleau scored his first goal at 8:15 when he was left all alone by the net for a 4-1 lead.
Just 22 seconds later, Sanford used his stick high to deflect in a shot by Torey Krug at 8:37. San Jose challenged the call but officials ruled it was good. Schenn also assisted on the goal to give him 16 points in his last 16 games.
O'Reilly pulled the Blues within one at 4-3 with a wrist shot from a tough angle to the right of the goal at 15:30. St. Louis worked around a delayed penalty that was being called on Mario Ferraro, who was without a helmet.
Kyrou ripped a slap shot from the faceoff circle at 18:41 to tie it.
"`I think we were upset. We had some mistakes and dug ourselves a hole," O'Reilly said. "But you could tell everyone just had the mindset: go, go, go. When we put the puck in, we hunted, we pursued, we got it back, we took it to the net. Yeah, we just had that hunger and weren't thinking, we were just going."
The Blues announced LW Sammy Blais went on the COVID-19 protocol list Saturday, making him ineligible to play. Blais played in Thursday's 3-2 overtime victory against the Sharks. He practiced Friday. However, Blais was not among the 12 Blues taking part in Saturday's optional morning skate. He is the first Blues player on the COVID list this year. ... Taking his place in the lineup was Jake Walman from the taxi squad.
St. Louis F Ivan Barbashev was placed on injured reserve with a left ankle injury. Barbashev was injured during the third period of the Blues' 3-2 overtime win Thursday against San Jose. He will be re-evaluated in six weeks. ... The Blues also remain without F Jaden Schwartz (lower-body) and D Colton Parayko (undisclosed). ... San Jose D Radim Simek (lower body) and D Erik Karlsson (lower body) both remained out.
St. Louis recalled F Nathan Walker from the American Hockey League's Utica Comets and assigned him to the taxi squad. Walker, 27, has appeared in 17 career NHL games, posting four points and 12 penalty minutes.
The Sharks will host the Minnesota Wild on Monday. The Blues will host the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.
More AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL
Updated February 20, 2021