By TIM CRONIN | Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Logan Brown and Alexey Toropchenko scored 38 seconds apart in the second period, and the St. Louis Blues beat the skidding Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 on Thursday night.
Jakub Vrana, Jordan Kyrou and Brandon Saad also scored for St. Louis. Justin Faulk had two assists.
The Blues, still clinging to faint playoff hopes, have won two straight and three of four.
“We’re scoring goals, and we’ve got a lot of guys playing pretty good offense right now,” coach Craig Berube said. “That’s the bottom line. Our penalty kill hasn’t been great. Our power play hasn’t been great lately. We’re still finding ways to score goals and win games.”
It was the seventh consecutive loss for the Blackhawks, who dropped into a tie with Columbus for last place in the overall NHL standings with 54 points each.
Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Johnson and Boris Katchouk scored for Chicago.
Kyrou took Sammy Blais’ pass from left wing and beat Chicago goaltender Petr Mrazek from the slot for his 34th goal of the season, giving St. Louis a 4-2 lead with 10:35 left.
Katchouk scored 36 seconds later on a deke that fooled Blues goalie Jordan Binnington.
Binnington made the biggest of his 30 saves on Lucas Reichel with 1:45 to play. Saad added an empty-net goal with 1:13 remaining.
“We just don’t have that natural finish right now,” Chicago coach Luke Richardson said. “Maybe that’s where our squad is right now.”
Brown and Toropchenko gave the Blues a 3-1 lead in the second. Brown scored his second of the season at 12:59 by tipping Faulk’s 30-foot wrist shot by Mrazek after Blackhawks defenseman Anders Bjork failed to clear the puck.
“Sometimes you get on runs where you get more chances,” said Faulk, who has nine points in his last four games.
Toropchenko took a pass from Tyler Pitlick and fired it past Mrazek at 13:37.
“In the second, we kind of fell apart a bit,” Chicago forward Taylor Raddysh said. “We fought to the end and fell short. Reichel had a great chance.”
Vrana opened the scoring 4:25 into the second, parking in the slot to backhand Saad’s pass by Mrazek.
Athanasiou tied it on a power play midway through the period, propelling the puck into an open net after Binnington bit on Johnson's fake.
Chicago's second goal also came on a power play when Johnson tipped a hard pass from Raddysh by Binnington just 31 seconds into the third.
Mrazek finished with 24 saves.
RED HOT FOR BLUES
Vrana’s goal gave him nine since coming over to St. Louis from Detroit on March 3, the third-best output in the NHL during that time. Three of his goals have come on the power play. By comparison, Blues leading goal-scorer Kyrou has eight goals in that stretch.
Blues: Play at Nashville on Saturday.
Blackhawks: Will host New Jersey on Saturday.
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