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Binnington looks to bounce back for Blues against Jets in Game 4

Rookie allowed six goals in loss after winning first two in series

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- If history is any indication, rookie goalie Jordan Binnington will have a strong bounce-back game for the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TVAS, SN, FS-MW).

For the first time in his NHL career, Binnington allowed more than four goals in a game, a 6-3 loss to the Jets in Game 3 on Sunday.

Binnington, who was strong in stopping all 13 shots in the first period, allowed six goals on 16 shots the rest of the way, only the fourth time in 33 NHL regular-season and Stanley Cup Playoff starts he's allowed more than three goals.

 

[RELATED: Complete Jets vs. Blues series coverage]

 

"It's about having a short memory and doing what makes you feel good for the next game," Binnington said. "I think that's what we focus on as a team and just believing in ourselves and trying to be as consistent as we can by preparing properly and that's what we're going to do.

"I think it's a lifestyle and it comes with time and consistency and being relentless every day. You've got to prepare. That's what you've got to do as a group and me personally. Experience comes in and you just remember the way you play the game and try to dictate Game 4."

The 25-year-old was 24-5-1 with a League-leading 1.89 goals-against average during the regular season; he was tied for fourth in save percentage at .927. 

Amid that success, he has shown the ability to bounce back from subpar performances. 

Binnington was 6-0-0 with a 1.79 GAA and .935 save percentage and allowed more than two goals only once after a loss during the regular season. He hasn't lost consecutive games in the NHL yet.

And that's why the Blues, who lead the Jets 2-1 in the best-of-7 series, are confident he will be fine.

"He's been there all season long, and that's the cool part," Blues defenseman Colton Parayko said. "Just the way he goes about it, the way he continues to press and continues to do his thing. He's an elite goaltender back there. We have all the confidence in him.

"He knows where he's at and he knows how good he is. We all know how good he is in the locker room too. He's a professional. He knows exactly what he needs to do. He's ready. We're ready. We're looking forward to the next game."

Binnington has a very calm demeanor and an ability to park games, good or bad, and turn his attention to the next one rather quickly.

"He's a confident guy, he's focused, he's been unbelievable enough. I can't say enough good things," Blues forward Jaden Schwartz said. "We've got to do our job of being better in front of him. We have a lot of confidence in him and we play a confident game in front of him."

So does Blues coach Craig Berube, who knows pretty quickly when Binnington is locked in.

"When Binner's aggressive and he's out playing that puck and making good plays with it, he's dialed in and aggressive, that'll be a good sign," Berube said. "We're confident. He's a strong, mental kid and he's going to bounce back."

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