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game recap

Blues defeat Devils in OT, gain in Central

Dunn scores with three seconds left, St. Louis moves within two points of first

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Dunn wins it in OT for Blues

STL@NJD: Dunn nets OT winner in final seconds

Vince Dunn moves in and beats Cory Schneider in the final seconds of overtime to lift the Blues to a 3-2 win against the Devils

  • 00:55 •

NEWARK, N.J. -- The St. Louis Blues moved within two points of first place in the Central Division with a 3-2 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Saturday.

Vince Dunn scored with three seconds remaining on a snap shot from the left face-off circle after skating into the New Jersey zone from the St. Louis blue line.

"When the game is on the line you kind of get a little bit more adrenaline, and when you hear your name called to go over the bench, you know you'll just have to do your job out there," Dunn said. "I think it's just really exciting for whoever is out there (in overtime). These are big games for us and for us to win like this is a really good thing moving forward."

 

[WATCH: All Blues vs. Devils highlights]

 

The Blues (42-28-8), who clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday, were last in the NHL at 15-18-4 on Jan. 2 but are 27-10-4 since Jan. 3. They trail the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators. The Jets lost 3-1 to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday; the Predators lost 5-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

St. Louis is four points ahead of the Dallas Stars, who visit the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

Video: EA Sports Overtime Winner: Dunn wins it for Blues

"Obviously, you want to be playing your best going into the playoffs and there's a couple of teams we still want to catch, and home ice would be huge for us," Blues center Tyler Bozak said. "We can keep climbing, so we'll keep our foot on the gas, keep trying to catch those teams to get into a better position."

Jake Allen made 25 saves for the Blues, who are 6-1-1 in their past eight games. He is 7-0-0 against the Devils for his career.

"It's about sticking with it to the end and giving up the least amount of offense as we can to the other team," Dunn said. "Jake Allen and [Jordan Binnington] are doing a great job stopping the puck for us, so those are two big pieces to us getting these points down the stretch."

Cory Schneider made 24 saves for the Devils (29-40-10), who have lost 12 of their past 16 games (4-10-2) and have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Video: STL@NJD: Bozak rips wrister through traffic

"It was a good response by the team, getting mentally ready all day long because St. Louis is a tough team," Schneider said of the Devils, who lost 4-0 at the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. "They still have something to play for. They clinched and are jockeying for seeding. The way they handled us the first time (an 8-3 loss Feb. 12), I think we had to show them that we could compete with them."

Joey Anderson scored for the Devils on a deflection from the slot to tie it 2-2 at 16:52 of the second period.

The goal came 56 seconds after the Blues took a 2-1 lead at 15:56 when Bozak scored on a slap shot from the high slot through a screen by Pat Maroon on a delayed penalty.

Video: STL@NJD: Thomas pots backhand for opening tally

"The big man was in front, so I just tried to get (the puck) around him and then I knew it had a good chance of going in," Bozak said of the forward (6-foot-3, 225 pounds). "[Maroon] did all the work there. He screened the goalie so he couldn't see a thing."

Robert Thomas gave the Blues a 1-0 lead when he scored on a backhand from the slot at 15:09 of the first period.

The Devils tied it 1-1 when Drew Stafford scored a power-play goal on a tip-in from the slot at 4:57 of the second.

 

They said it

"I think the biggest reason for our success is just a lot of accountability between each person. We weren't selfish, but I think we just weren't caring enough about each other on the ice. We were putting each other in bad spots and not playing every game with enough desperation. I think right now it's everyone staying connected and showing that they care about each other on the ice, with and without the puck. We're playing well as a team right now." -- Blues defenseman Vince Dunn

"I think we have another gear for sure, but we've been battling a long time to get into the playoffs and I think that we're a little exhausted. A little bit of rest will do us good." -- Blues coach Craig Berube

"I thought we had great resilience. It shows the character in this locker room. We are not going to give up. We are going to fight through the rest of the season and give it our all for each other and for the fan base and organization." -- Devils forward Kevin Rooney

 

Need to know

Dunn has five game-winning goals in his NHL career (149 games), including four this season. … The Maroon-Bozak-Thomas line combined for five points (two goals, three assists). … Bozak was 7-for-8 on face-offs (88 percent). … Devils center Pavel Zacha had an assist, giving him six points (one goal, five assists) in his past six games.

 

What's next

Blues: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Devils: Host the New York Rangers on Monday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, MSG 2, NHL.TV)

Video: Dunn nets overtime winner for Blues vs. Devils

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