DALLAS — As much as it was not a coincidence that the 2018-19 St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup riding the hot play of goaltender Jordan Binnington, who started that season as the third-string netminder, there were also parallels between the team not making the playoffs for the first time in five years last season and the underwhelming play of their Cup-winning backstop. Just one week before the season begins, and inside of the same arena where their opener will take place, Binnington and the Blues put on a performance that they hope will translate through much of the upcoming campaign.
Binnington stopped all 24 shots while Robert Thomas scored twice to lead the Blues to a 4-0 shutout victory over the Dallas Stars inside American Airlines Center on Thursday evening.
Over the last two years, Binnington has been well off the pace of the top goalkeepers in the league, evidenced by a save percentage of .897 in 98 games. A return to the playoffs for the Blues is surely tied to the improved form of the Ontarian-born keeper.
Despite being beaten four times on the evening, the Stars’ Jake Oettinger has already established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the league, helping to lead Dallas to the Western Conference Finals. Over his last three seasons, he has seen his save percentage improve from .911 in the 2021 season to .914 in 2022 — his first season as the fill-time starter for the Stars — to .919 last season, a year in which he also pitched five shutouts.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Thursday evening’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are eight pictures in total.