The Playoff Buzzer: Blues overcome clutch Couture
- Jordan Binnington and the Blues bounced back in Game 2, tying their series with the Sharks on Monday. It was mostly a tightly-fought game, with a mixture of expected names (Logan Couture, Jaden Schwartz) and unexpected heroes (Robert Bortuzzo) coming through.
The two teams took turns stunning each other during Game 2. First, Schwartz and Vince Dunn stunned the Sharks with two goals, with one coming in the first period and the other happening in the second. Dunn’s goal seemed to awake a sleeping giant, as Logan Couture then stunned the Blues with two goals in two minutes. Bortuzzo’s eventually game-winner was maybe the most stunning moment of the night, while Oskar Sundqvist’s 4-2 insurance tally seemed to come out of nowhere (although that pass by Alexander Steen was no accident). Binnington was good enough for the Blues to get another road win during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
1. Robert Bortuzzo
This was one of those “more than meets the eye” performances, as Bortuzzo transformed into an unlikely hero.
Bortuzzo’s game-winner stands as the number one reason why he snags this spot over players who were more productive during Game 2. He did more than that, though, as Bortuzzo brought attention to a delay of game penalty, landed a thunderous check on Marcus Sorensen, and blocked a Kevin Labanc one-timer that looked like a golden opportunity for San Jose to tie what was at the time a 3-2 game.
In just 10:37 of ice time, Bortuzzo scored that goal, enjoyed a +2 rating, generated two SOG, two blocked shots, and totaled five hits.
2. Logan Couture
Really, Couture was probably the biggest star of Game 2, though he probably wouldn’t argue too hard for that point since his Sharks lost.
Couture beat Binnington twice in slightly less than two minutes, first generating a shorthanded goal and then beating Binnington after a fantastic outlet pass from Timo Meier. Couture only took six faceoffs in Game 2, but won five of them, while also firing four SOG and delivering one hit, one blocked shot, and a +1 rating. Couture did his part - and then some - but most of his teammates just couldn’t really get much going.
3. Joel Edmundson
The only player other than Couture to score two points was a Blues defenseman, and that blueliner was Edmundson, not Bortuzzo.
Edmundson collected two assists in Game 2, giving him five assists and six points during 13 playoff games. Edmundson’s been heating up in general, really, as he’s generated four of his six points (one goal, three assists) in the last four games.
The Blues’ defensive group combined for two goals and three assists overall in Game 2.
- Alex Pietrangelo was also involved in that scoring, generating an assist in Game 2. He now has 12 points overall during these playoffs, tying him for the Blues’ franchise record for points by a defenseman during a single playoff run.
- St. Louis continues to be hearty away from St. Louis. This marks the Blues’ sixth road win of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, tying a franchise record for road wins during a single postseason. Ryan O’Reilly might want to get spiked shoulder pads and call himself a road warrior, because his point streak in away playoff games is now at seven, setting a new Blues record.
- Logan Couture is on a tear during this postseason, and he’s been a big-game performer for some time. Couture reached 100 career playoff points in 112 postseason games, placing him at fourth place behind Sidney Crosby (123), Patrick Kane (109), and Evgeni Malkin (106) in playoff points since the 2010 postseason. Couture’s 100 points include 47 goals, which trails only Alex Ovechkin (50) during that same span. Joe Pavelski isn’t far behind, tying Sidney Crosby for third place with 42.
Game 3: Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes (Boston leads series 2-0; airs on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET; stream here)