Jaden Schwartz had a hat trick and Jordan Binnington stopped 18 shots as the St. Louis Blues beat the visiting Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in Game 6 of their series Saturday night to advance to the second round.
Schwartz scored just 11 times during the regular season and went through a 22-game scoreless drought from Dec. 20 to Feb. 12.
"Sometimes when pucks aren't going in, the net doesn't seem as big," Schwartz said. "When you get a bounce, or a break, it seems like you can carry that over. Everyone will tell you that confidence in this, and any sport, is big."
Schwartz has four goals in the playoffs — the Blues' last four, starting with the tiebreaking tally with 15 seconds left in their 3-2 win in Game 5. That goal helped set the stage for Saturday's effort.
"We did a good job of carrying that over," Schwartz said. "We were aggressive today, and we kind of played without fear."
The Blues became the first home team to win in the series, and advanced to the second round for the third time in four years.
Bryan Little and Dustin Byfuglien scored for Winnipeg, which fell behind 3-0 in the third. Connor Hellebuyck finished with 33 saves.
"It's hard to say what went wrong," Hellebuyck said. "We really shouldn't point fingers and try to find blame. That's a good team over there and they played well."
Dallas 5, Nashville 3: The young Stars have blossomed this postseason, and their top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov is showing what it can do.
Radulov scored two goals in the second period in Nashville and the Stars, the first wild card in the West, has the No. 2 seed on the brink of elimination. The Stars lead the series 3-2 over the two-time defending Central Division champs.
"We keep getting better, and we have to keep getting better," Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said. "The next one's the hardest one because it's the potential to end someone's season."
Jason Dickinson also scored twice, Seguin had a goal and an assist, and Benn matched the NHL playoff record for assists in a period with three in the second.
Washington 6, Carolina 0: Nicklas Backstrom had two goals and two assists and Braden Holtby stopped 30 shots as the host Capitals routed the Hurricanes to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round series.