Binnington, Blues send Flyers to 7th straight loss


Blues goalie Jordan Binnington makes a save during Monday’s game against the Flyers.

The Associated PressPHILADELPHIA (AP) — The biggest cheers from Flyers fans Monday night came when Gritty wrapped a blindfold around his googily eyes “Bird Box” style and kicked a Nerf football into the stands on a field-goal attempt as part of the “Cody Parkey Challenge.”

This is how sad the season has become for Philadelphia — fans save their loudest cheers to rally around the local football team.

Jordan Binnington became the latest goalie to stymie the Flyers. He stopped 25 shots for a shutout in his first NHL start to lead the St. Louis Blues past the Flyers 3-0 in a listless game between two of the worst teams in the league.

Brayden Schenn, Vladimir Tarasenko and David Perron scored to make it an easy night for Binnington.

“Guys are thrilled for him, happy for him,” Schenn said. “He’s worked hard to get to this point and he finally got rewarded.”

The Blues’ win gave them 38 points and moved them past Los Angeles out of last place in the Western Conference. Only Ottawa has fewer points than the Flyers (36) in the East after Philadelphia’s seventh straight loss. Both teams fired their coaches this season.

Binnington, a third-round pick in the 2011 draft, became the 35th goalie in NHL history to record a shutout in his first career start. The 25-year-old Binnington had played just two games in mop-up duty this season behind Jake Allen. He was sent to the minors in December to keep fresh and earned three wins with a shutout to earn AHL player of the week honors. He was called up — and got the call to start against the hapless Flyers.

“I was definitely excited to finally get the call, and it was a long road,” Binnington said. “I’m happy where I’m at right now and I’m hoping to get some more action and be a part of the solution on the rise of the Blues.”

Blues coach Craig Berube said Binnington showed no signs of nerves.

“I thought he was solid all game,” Berube said. “Very confident, even coming out and playing the puck. He moved it really well and crisply. He looked really good.”

Schenn scored his ninth goal of the season on a rebound off Carter Hart’s pads 41 seconds into the second period for the 1-0 lead. Tarasenko scored midway through the third to become the 20th active player to score against 30 other teams while playing for one franchise. Perron scored an empty-netter in the final minutes.

Binnington wasn’t challenged much in a half-empty Wells Fargo Center. Once among the NHL’s loudest and craziest buildings, the crowds have dwindled with each defeat and the few fans that showed on Monday mostly sat on their hands and booed.


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