ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jaden Schwartz and the St. Louis Blues waited most of the season for some late-game magic.
They finally found it.
Schwartz scored his second goal of the game 30 seconds into overtime to give St. Louis a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.
It was the Blues’ third successive come-from-behind win in overtime. They beat Chicago 5-4 on Sunday after a 4-3 extra period win over the New York Rangers a day earlier.
Going into Saturday’s game, St. Louis had a 2-23-1 record when trailing after the second period.
“We knew we had it in us,” coach Mike Yeo said. “Obviously, we’re finding it at the right time.”
The Blues won for the fifth time in six games to move within two points of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
Jake Allen made 21 saves to improve to 24-21-2.
Ryan Donato scored for Boston. The Bruins clinched a playoff spot and moved within four points of Tampa Bay for the Eastern lead.
Schwartz scored his third game-winning goal of the season with a nifty coast-to-coast march in the extra period. He took a drop pass from Colton Parayko and skated behind his own net to gain momentum.
Schwartz weaved through a pair of defenders and drilled a hard shot from the slot past goalie Anton Khudobin, who made 18 saves.
“I had some space and I just tried to pick up some speed,” Schwartz said. “I wanted to see what was going to develop. I got a little one-on-one and just tried to change the angle.”
Schwartz, who got his 15th career game-winner, missed 20 games earlier in the season with a broken ankle.
“He’s a heck of a player, he’s fun to watch,” St. Louis defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “He’s been so good for us this year in all aspects of the game.”
Schwartz is having the time of his life during the Blues’ recent come-from-behind win streak.
“We’re back to believing in ourselves,” Schwartz said. “We’re doing a good job of playing the full 60 minutes and not giving up. We’re not panicking.”
Schwartz tied it midway through the third period with a wrist shot from the top of the circle.
Donato scored his second goal in his second NHL game. He had a goal and two assists in a 5-4 loss to Columbus on Monday night.
Donato, still a student at Harvard University, returned to Massachusetts on Tuesday to attend class before flying back to St. Louis to rejoin the Bruins. His father, Ted, played 528 games in two stints with the Bruins (1992-99, 2003-04).
Donato, who played for the U.S. Olympic team last month, drilled a shot past Allen in the first period. Pietrangelo’s clearing attempt hit referee Brad Watson and the puck bounced right to Donato.
“That’s the goal, getting that playoff point is huge for us and being able to clinch that spot,” Donato said. “But obviously we would have been a lot happier if we got the win as well.”
Boston, which has a game in hand on Tampa Bay, joined Nashville and Tampa Bay as only teams to have clinched playoff spots.
“Going into the season, we wanted to make the playoffs, be a Stanley Cup contender,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Going forward, we want to be in the best position possible, playing the best hockey going in.”
Boston was without seven key players:- C Patrice Bergeron (fractured left foot), D Charlie McAvoy (left knee), D Zdeno Chara (upper body), LW Jake DeBrusk (upper body), RW David Backes (right leg laceration), D Torey Krug (upper body) and LW Rick Nash (upper body). They have combined for 101 goals and 161 assists.
NOTES: St. Louis RW Vladimir Tarasenko missed his second successive game after taking an elbow to the face against the New York Rangers on Saturday. … The Bruins have least one point in 12 of their last 15 games against St. Louis. … Only three Boston players – RW David Pastrnak, C Tim Schaller and C Sean Kuraly – have played in every game this season.
Bruins: At Dallas on Friday night in the second game of a four-game trip.
Blues: Host Vancouver on Friday night.