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Blues beat Golden Knights 3-1 to complete 3-0 trip

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Vladimir Tarasenko’s tenure with the St. Louis Blues was a hot topic during the offseason after he requested a trade earlier in the summer, and again after the team left the 29- year -old winger unprotected in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.

The organization might be thankful he’s still wearing a Blues sweater.

Tarasenko broke a tie midway through the third period in St. Louis’ 3-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night.

Brandon Saad and Ivan Barbashev added goals for the Blues. St. Louis won all three games on its season-opening trip, also beating Colorado 5-3 and Arizona 7-4.

William Karlsson opened the scoring for the Golden Knights, and Robin Lehner made 35 saves.

After averaging 30.5 shots on goal in their first two games, the Blues fired 38 on net Wednesday.

It was a critical mistake that cost Vegas, incidentally by former Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo.

On the tiebreaking goal, Pietrangelo turned the puck over in the neutral zone with a blind pass, giving the Blues a 3-on-0 rush. Taking a pass from Brayden Schenn, Jordan Kyrou fed Tarasenko for a one-timer past Lehner with 10:11 to play.

The Golden Knights didn’t get their first shot on goal until nearly seven minutes into the game, then took the lead on Karlsson’s goal. After Reilly Smith drew him to one side, Binnington slid across the crease to deny Karlsson’s initial one timer, but he punched home his own rebound.

The Blues eventually solved Lehner in the second period with their continued pressure in the offensive zone. Ryan O’Reilly dropped the puck off for former Knight David Perron, whose ini- tial shot deflected off Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore to set up Saad as he skated in.

Saad, who signed with St. Louis as a free agent in July, buried his first goal as a member of the Blues.

Barbashev had an empty-net goal.

NOTES: Vegas’ Nolan Patrick played in his 200th career game. … Nic Roy, William Carrier and Brett Howden made their regular -season debuts for the Golden Knights after nursing injuries. … O’Reilly’s assist on Saad’s goal left him three shy of 400 career helpers. O’Reilly has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 17 career games against Vegas. … Perron’s assist on Saad’s goal moved him into an 11th- place tie with Red Berenson, each with 240 assists for the Blues.

UP NEXT

Blues: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

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