DALLAS (AP) — Ryan O’Reilly stopped his scoring drought with one timely play for the St. Louis Blues.
O’Reilly broke a tie 18 seconds after Dallas pulled even, and the Blues beat the Stars 3-1 on Friday night to extend their lead in the Central Division to five points over Winnipeg.
O’Reilly took a pass from Ivan Barbashev and beat Ben Bishop from the slot for a 2-1 lead with 2:53 left in the third period. Barbashev added an empty-netter with 3 seconds remaining.
It was O’Reilly’s first goal since Nov. 9 at Calgary.
“You know, it’s just a matter of time before they start going in,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “Just because he’s not scoring doesn’t mean he’s not playing well. He does have so many good things for us without the puck in different areas. It’s nice to see him get a goal there.”
It wasn’t so nice for Bishop, who had 37 saves.
“You want to have good shifts after you score a goal or after you give up a goal,” he said. “I think Barbashev actually made a pretty good play there. It kind of froze me pretty good and obviously it was a good play.”
O’Reilly was relieved.
“It’s been very frustrating not contributing offensively like I need to. It was a great play for all the guys on the ice to score a goal like that.”
Jake Allen made 31 saves, stopping everything except Roope Hintz’s shot 9 seconds after he came out of the penalty box with 3:11 to play. St. Louis has a nine-game road points streak (7-0-2).
Colton Parayko opened the scoring for the Blues with 4:19 left in the first period. He skated with the puck from behind the net and circled all the way to the top of the slot, just inside the blue line, and sent a wrist shot into the right side.
The Stars dropped from second to fourth with their second straight loss following a 12-game points streak.
“We found a way, we tied the game up, and then to give it up that quickly is disappointing,” Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said. “Kind of lucky that we were going to get a point out of it. We get into overtime and you never know, maybe we get the two points.”
Instead, the Stars have lost both games against St. Louis this season after dropping a seven-game Western Conference semifinal to the Blues last season. St. Louis went on to win the Stanley Cup.
“They’re the defending champs,” Bishop said. “I don’t think there was any reason to hang your head. They’re the best team for a reason. I thought it was a decent game.”
The Blues outshot Dallas 11-5 in the first period. The Stars’ best scoring chance came six minutes in when Allen stopped Hintz’s deflection in front.
Dallas picked up the offense in the second period, with a flurry of 11 shots on goal in the first 6 minutes. The best scoring chance came 5 1/2 minutes into the period, when Allen stopped a wrist shot by Jamie Benn in the slot and another shot by Benn off the rebound.
NOTES: LW Nathan Walker and D Derrick Pouliot made their Blues debuts. Both had been called up from the minors on Monday. It looked as if Walker had scored his second NHL goal with 4 1/2 minutes left in the second period, but Dallas successfully challenged the play for offsides. … Dallas C Justin Dowling returned to the lineup after missing two games because of nausea.
Blues: Host Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
Stars: At Minnesota on Sunday.