Veterans Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly and Pavel Buchnevich scored in the third period to give the St. Louis Blues a 6-3 win and torpedo a two-goal effort from Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander on Saturday.
The victory against one of the league’s top teams in the Maple Leafs (32-13-3) arrived two days after the Blues departed Montreal red-faced because they dropped a 3-2 decision in overtime to end the last-place Canadiens’ 10-game losing streak.
Saad finished a pinpoint three-way passing play from linemate David Perron and defenceman Colton Parayko, 4:38 into the third period. O’Reilly deflected a point shot from Niko Mikkola midway through the final period.
Buchnevich scored his second of the game into an empty net.
The home side outshot St. Louis 37-34. Blues 27-year-old Finnish goalie Ville Husso now has gone 9-1-1 since the calendar flipped to 2022.
Toronto’s Auston Matthews saw his nine-game point streak end.
The Blues (29-14-6) were without their top point-getter, Vladimir Tarasenko, injured in Montreal on Thursday. St. Louis head coach Craig Berube listed his sniper as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
Tarasenko’s absence didn’t matter much to the visitors in the first period. Buchnevich hammered in a rebound off the blocker of Toronto goalie Jack Campbell for an early lead.
Fourth-liner Klim Kostin made it 2-0 midway through the opening frame when he converted a cross-ice backhand pass from Tyler Bozak.
After sitting out four games as a healthy scratch, Bozak, a former Maple Leaf, made his way back into the Blues lineup.
Nylander put his team on the board with a stick-side wrist shot late in the first period for his 18th goal of the year.
Nylander had gone the previous seven games without a goal, but the right-shot forward tied the game early in the second period off the rush on the left side.
However, the Blues regained the lead 29 seconds later when Brayden Schenn popped in his rebound.
Campbell had to be sharp on the next few shifts to keep the Maple Leafs close as the Blues peppered the Toronto goalie.
Husso was called upon to make a super stop on a Marner redirect from in close with the Maple Leafs on the power play later in the second period.
But Toronto drew even late in the second period with a screen drive from the point off the stick of defenceman T.J. Brodie for his first goal since Jan. 5.