Tarasenko scores hat trick in final period as Blues rally to win, take series lead over Wild

Vladimir Tarasenko had three goals in the third period to break open a tied game and series, and the St. Louis Blues pushed the Minnesota Wild to the edge of elimination with a 5-2 victory in Game 5 on Tuesday night.

Hurricanes take Game 5 win, series lead over Bruins behind rookie Jarvis' 2-goal effort

Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko, seen in game two, scored three goals in the final period of a 5-2 game five win over the Wild in their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series on Tuesday in St. Paul, Minnesota. (David Berding/Getty Images)

Vladimir Tarasenko had three goals in the third period to break open a tied game and series, and the St. Louis Blues pushed the Minnesota Wild to the edge of elimination with a 5-2 victory in Game 5 on Tuesday night in St. Paul, Minn.

Ryan O'Reilly scored for the fourth time in the series and Brandon Saad got the tying goal late in the second period as the Blues upstaged a stellar performance by Wild star Kirill Kaprizov.

Kaprizov brought the building to life on yet another late-night start โ€” puck drop was at 8:50 p.m. local time โ€” by scoring twice on Minnesota's previously sluggish power play in the first period. Kaprizov has an NHL-leading seven goals in the playoffs, already a Wild record for a series.

The Wild are 4-for-19 on the power play, and Kaprizov has three of the goals.

The series returns to St. Louis for Game 6 on Thursday night. If the Blues win, Game 7 would be back in Minnesota on Saturday. The top-seeded Colorado Avalanche, fresh off a sweep of the Nashville Predators, are waiting in the second round.

Entering this year, there have been 277 best-of-seven postseason matchups in NHL history that were tied at two games apiece. The Game 5 winner went on to take the series 219 times, a whopping .791 winning percentage.

Jordan Binnington made 30 saves for his second straight win after Ville Husso was benched, again bettering Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Pavel Buchnevich outmuscled Jacob Middleton for the puck behind the net and fed Tarasenko for the go-ahead score with 63 seconds elapsed after the second intermission.

Then Tarasenko, who bounced back strong with 34 goals in 2021-22 after consecutive injury-wrecked seasons, gave the Blues a two-goal lead with his wrist shot from the high slot just 1:28 later. He tacked on an empty-netter with 1:33 remaining.

The Blues bolstered their blue line by bringing Robert Bortuzzo and Nick Leddy back from their upper-body injuries that kept them out of the two games in St. Louis, though defensemen Torey Krug and Marco Scandella were again absent with lower-body injuries.

Rookie Scott Perunovich, who appeared in the lineup in Game 4 for his first action in four months, was the seventh defenceman to suit up while the Blues made only 11 forwards active. The native of Hibbing, Minnesota, has landed on the top power-play unit and made his presence felt there right away after Middleton was whistled for cross-checking โ€” a dubious call from the view of the booing home crowd โ€” to give the visitors the man advantage just 4:06 into the game.

Perunovich's slap shot forced Fleury to create a rebound, and after a scramble for the puck that Brayden Schenn won in front of the crease, O'Reilly found it with an open net to knock it in.

Kaprizov had seen enough of the power play imbalance by that point.

Marcus Foligno screened Binnington on Kaprizov's first goal, a wrister that buzzed over the goaltender's glove. Then on another man advantage situation less than four minutes later, Kaprizov hustled to take possession the puck from an off-balance Colton Parayko and kept the play alive.

Kevin Fiala passed from the corner to the back edge of the left circle, where Kaprizov snapped a shot into the narrow slice of space above Binnington's right shoulder and the back corner of the net. That gave the Wild a 2-1 edge, completing the first lead change in the series.

Hurricanes dominate in must-win Game 5

Rookie Seth Jarvis scored twice and Antti Raanta finished with 34 saves to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 5-1 on Tuesday night for a 3-2 lead in the first-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C.

Defensemen Jaccob Slavin and Tony DeAngelo scored first-period goals for the Hurricanes, and Vincent Trocheck added an empty-netter.

The series has yet to see a team secure a road win. It wasn't close to happening in this one, either, with the Hurricanes playing from in front and carrying the action in a much cleaner performance than their mistake-filled showings in Boston.

With the Game 5 win, the Hurricanes have two chances to close out the Bruins. Game 6 is Thursday in Boston, and Game 7, if needed, on home ice Saturday.

Raanta was sharp all night, highlighted by stopping a left-alone Brad Marchand at the top of the crease by going down and getting his left wrist on the puck in the first period. He carried a shutout until midway through the third period when Connor Clifton scored on a rush to make it 4-1.

Then there was Jarvis, who had a tough Game 4 when he took a puck to the groin on a slap shot by teammate Brendan Smith. He laughed it off earlier Tuesday, even while saying he was still in pain from it.

No matter, Jarvis was willing to tussle at the crease to set up both of his goals. The first came when he was knocked to the ice on the left side by Brandon Carlo, but whipped his stick around to hit the puck โ€” which hit the right skate of Boston's Jake DeBrusk and fluttered over Jeremy Swayman to reach the net for a 3-0 lead at 15:52 of the second.

He came through with another early in the third, reaching around Swayman to corral a puck that had slipped underneath the netminder and tapping it in at 3:31 of the third.

Carolina ran out to a 2-0 series lead with two strong home performances. But the Bruins regrouped on home ice, capitalizing on 14 Carolina penalties along with the Hurricanes appearing to lose composure by Game 4, leveling the series.

This time, the Hurricanes stayed out of the box (three penalties) to keep the game largely at their preferred even strength in a game with far fewer scuffles and post-whistle antics by both teams.

Swayman finished with 33 saves, including numerous big stops for the Bruins, and keeping them close early as Carolina asserted control.

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