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Saad scores winning goal to spark Blues to 5-3 win over Flames

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Brandon Saad scored his sixth winning goal of the season, lifting the St. Louis Blues to a 5-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

“They just seem to be going in. I think the belief and how we’re playing confident as a group, obviously playing with some good players there,” Saad said. “Getting the opportunities and it’s nice to finish them.”

Pavel Buchnevich scored two goals including an empty netter while Zack Bolduc and Jake Neighbours also scored for the Blues, who are 7-1-1 in their last nine games. Jordan Binnington made 25 saves and also had a pair of assists to give him seven in his career.

“We still found a way to win the hockey game and it’s an important two points for us,” interim Blues coach Drew Bannister said. “Those are games maybe when you look back, when we struggled a few weeks back on the road, we were finding ways to lose games. We found a way to win a game here tonight.”

Andrei Kuzmenko scored two goals and Jonathan Huberdeau had the other for the Flames, who have lost five in a row and eight of their last 10 games. Dustin Wolf made 14 saves.

“I liked the way we played tonight. It seems funny that the score ends up 5-3,” Flames coach Ryan Huska said. “It didn’t feel like it was that type of game. We deserved a better fate here tonight.”

Saad scored the go-ahead goal 2:04 into the third period, taking a pass from Jordan Kyrou behind the net and wristing the shot past Wolf. In the Blues’ last meeting in Calgary, Saad scored a pair of goals including the winner with 48 seconds left in regulation.

“I just kind of found open ice and he (Kyrou) made a great pass to me in the slot,” Saad said.

The teams were tied 3-3 after two periods.

Neighbours put back a rebound to tie the game 2-2 at 3:27 of the second period. It was his 26th goal this season.

“I go to the net. It was a good shot,” Neighbours said. “(Robert) Thomas got a stick on it and it bounced right to me.”

Nazem Kadri took a four-minute minor for high sticking at 5:36. The Blues cashed in when Buchnevich scored his 25th goal at 8:54, his 200th point in 207 games with the Blues.

Kuzmenko scored his second to make it a 3-3 at 16:50. Standing alone by the net, he tipped in a shot by Kadri.

“We’re trying to improve. The effort was there tonight,” Kuzmenko said. “It can be heavy going through stretches like this at this time of the year. It’s important for us to stay together as a group.”

Calgary led 2-1 after the first period.

Bolduc scored at 13:02 on a backhand from in front of the net. Binnington started the play with an outlet pass.

Calgary responded with two goals to take the lead. Kuzmenko scored an unassisted goal at 14:48 and Huberdeau scored a power-play goal at 18:35.

“We deserved better,” Huberdeau said. “We didn’t give up. We played a solid game.”

UP NEXT:

Flames: Host Los Angles Kings on Saturday night.

Blues: Host San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

By WARREN MAYES
Associated Press

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