Jaden Schwartz scored three times and Jordan Binnington stopped 18 shots to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Winnipeg Jets, 3-2, in Game 6 of their Western Conference playoff series Saturday night to advance to the second round.
The Blues became the first home team to win in the series, and they advanced to the second round for the third time in four years. St. Louis will next face the winner of the Dallas-Nashville series, which the Stars lead, 3-2.
Bryan Little and Dustin Byfuglien scored for Winnipeg, which tried to rally after having only one shot on goal in the second period and falling behind, 3-0, early in the third. Connor Hellebuyck finished with 33 saves.
Schwartz, who had only 11 goals in the regular season, has four in the playoffs — the Blues’ last four, starting with the tiebreaking score with 15 seconds left in the 3-2 win in Game 5.
Binnington, a 25-year-old rookie who began the season as a backup in the American Hockey League, appreciated Schwartz’s ability to stay the course.
“What a boss,” Binnington said. “He’s playing great. And his beard looks pretty good on him, too.”
Schwartz scored just 23 seconds into the contest. It was the sixth goal scored in the first minute of a game in the postseason, the first time in N.H.L. history that has happened in the opening round.
Schwartz pushed the lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal off a wrist shot with 7 minutes 24 seconds left in the second period and completed the natural hat trick early in the third. It was the Blues’ first postseason hat trick since Vladimir Tarasenko scored three times on April 18, 2015, against Minnesota.CAPITALS 6, HURRICANES 0 Nicklas Backstrom had two goals and two assists, Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two assists, and Braden Holtby stopped all 30 shots he faced to lead host Washington to a rout of Carolina in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.
Washington has a 3-2 lead and can advance with a win on Monday night in Raleigh, N.C. The winner of the series will face the Islanders in the second round.
After scoring five goals in 20 games during the Capitals’ run to the Stanley Cup a year ago that included missing four games with two fractures in his right pointer finger, Backstrom has that many already in these playoffs.
Ovechkin assisted on Backstrom’s second goal and Tom Wilson’s on the power play and added the exclamation point in the rout with a power-play goal in the third. Nic Dowd scored on a penalty shot, and Brett Connolly had his first goal of the series.
Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek allowed six goals on 28 shots but was largely hung out to dry. Washington went 2 for 3 on the power play, and Carolina came up empty on several opportunities that could have changed the course of the game.
STARS 5, PREDATORS 3 Alexander Radulov scored two goals in the second period and Dallas won at Nashville to push the Western Conference’s No. 2 seed to the brink of elimination.
The Stars, the West’s first wild card, can oust the Predators, the two-time defending Central Division champions, at home on Monday night. Dallas would join Colorado, Columbus and St. Louis as lower seeds to advance.
Jason Dickinson also scored twice, Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist, and Jamie Benn had three assists.