Hurricanes close on Rangers, beat Blues 5-2

Jaccob Slavin scored the go-ahead goal in the third period

Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin is congratulated by Sebastian Aho after scoring go-ahead goal in Carolina’s 5-2 win Friday over the Blues in St. Louis. (Jeff Roberson / AP Photo)

ST. LOUIS — Jaccob Slavin scored the winning goal 7:53 into the third period and Jake Guentzel added a pair of empty-netters, lifting the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.

Slavin scored when both teams were playing with four men as Carolina won its fourth game in a row and sixth in its last seven.

Seth Jarvis and Jordan Martinook also scored for Carolina and Frederik Andersen made 29 saves to improve to 13-2-0.

Jordan Kyrou and Zack Bolduc scored for St. Louis and Jordan Binnington made 37 saves.

The Blues had won two in a row and need a win to give themselves a chance to claim one of the wild-card spots. They went into the game three points behind Vegas for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Guentzel’s two empty-net goals gave him 30 for the season.

Kyrou scored his 30th of the season on the power play at 5:31 of the second period when he wristed in a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle after a pass from Robert Thomas, who assisted on both St. Louis goals.

Kyrou has recorded consecutive 30-goal seasons for the first time in his career. Since 2000, only four Blues have done so — Vladimir Tarasenko, Brad Boyes, Keith Tkachuk and Pavol Demitra.

Thomas now has 60 assists. He is the first Blues player to have 60 or more assists in a season since 1993-94 when Craig Janney had 68.

Jarvis scored his 31st goal at 8:07 when his wrist shot from the slot beat Binnington.

Bolduc scored late in the first period for a 1-0 lead. Nick Leddy fed Bolduc, who was alone in the right faceoff circle and hit a slap shot by Andersen. The 21-year-old Bolduc has scored in three consecutive games.

The Hurricanes made it 1-1 with 1:01 to play in the first on Martinook’s goal.

The win puts Carolina one point behind the Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division and the Presidents’ Trophy. New York hosts the Islanders Saturday afternoon before closing its regular season Monday at New Jersey. The Hurricanes play at Chicago on Sunday night before their season finale Tuesday in Columbus.