“We want to play that way. … It was good that we tightened things up,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said.
Neighbors also scored in the third and Binnington made 32 saves as St. Louis rebounded well after lose 8-3 to Nashville Friday. Binnington went the distance in his sixth victory after the Blues used two goaltenders in their previous two games and three of their last five overall.
“The mindset was to do everything I could to stop the puck. … Don’t think and just play hard,” Binnington said.
Inconsistency remains a problem for Chicago, which loses for the sixth time in seven games. It came out of a 4-3 victory in overtime against Toronto on Friday, but he remains looking for his first winning streak this season.
“Talking about it has been our only consistent thing as far as consistency,” coach Luke Richardson said. “We can’t put it on ice, but we’re communicating and I think that’s a good thing and we have to continue to do that to get there.”
Ryan Donato and Boris Katchouk scored for the Blackhawks and Arvid Soderblom made 24 saves.
“It’s disappointing,” said forward Nick Foligno, “because we really felt like we figured out how we had success against Toronto and now we’re back in the loss column.”
Chicago got off to a sleepy start and St. Louis took advantage.
Neighbors broke free for a breakaway and held off Blackhawks defenseman Kevin Korchinski before slipping a backhand past Soderblom on the goalie’s glove side at 3:21. It was the Neighbors’ fourth goal in five games and sixth of the season.
Hayes made it 2-0 when he sent a wrist shot from the left circle over Soderblom’s right shoulder at 5:27.
After Donato got Chicago on the board, redirecting an Isaac Phillips shot past Binnington at 14:45, St. Louis responded with a rare power play goal. Standing at the side of the net, Buchnevich completed a smooth, no-look pass from Robert Thomas to take a 3-1 lead with 2:58 left in the first period.
The Blues were 5 for 59 with a power play this season, ranking 31st in the NHL with 8.5%.
“Overall, the power play is starting to pick up,” Berube said. “The puck movement is better, more direct and gets more pucks to the net.”
The Blackhawks pressed hard in the early part of the third period, but came up empty and the Neighbors made it 4-1 with 6:08 to play. Korchinski turned the puck over behind the net and Buchnevich found Neighbors in front.
“I think I’m just moving my feet and being a hard-working player in the system,” Neighbors said. “I think if you’re in the right places at the right time, you’re going to get chances, you’re going to get looks.”
Blues: At the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night.
Blackhawks: Host the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night.
AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL