ST. LOUIS — Jordan Binnington made 29 saves to set a franchise record with his 10th playoff win this postseason and the St. Louis Blues edged the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Friday night to even the Western Conference final at two games apiece.
Tyler Bozak and Ivan Barbashev scored in the first period for the Blues, giving Binnington all the scoring he needed.
Tomas Hertl scored for the Sharks, and Martin Jones made 20 saves.
Game 5 is in San Jose on Sunday.
Barbashev gave the Blues a quick lead when his shot deflected off of Gustav Nyquist's stick and into the net just 35 seconds in. Alexander Steen's hip check of Brent Burns behind the Sharks' net created a turnover that led to Barbashev's first career playoff goal.
There have been seven goals scored in the opening minute of playoff games this year, with three of them coming against San Jose - the most since the Boston Bruins allowed four during their Stanley Cup run in 2011.
The Blues needed just 9 seconds to convert on a power play as Bozak's shot found its way through several skates and past Jones to make it 2-0 with 2:07 left in the first.
San Jose tilted the ice in its favor in the second period, but Binnington stopped all 11 shots the Sharks sent his way. Burns had the Sharks' best chance, hitting the crossbar with about three minutes left in the period.
Hertl banged home a rebound off of a slap shot by Burns on the Sharks' second power play of the game at 6:48 of the third period to cut the Blues' lead to 2-1. The goal snapped San Jose's scoreless streak of 226 minutes, 48 seconds in Game 4s in a playoff series dating to last year's postseason.
Bucks 125, Raptors 103: Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points and 17 rebounds, Ersan Ilyasova came off the bench to add 17 points and the Milwaukee Bucks never trailed on the way to beating the Toronto Raptors 125-103 on Friday night and taking a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Antetokounmpo scored 11 points in the fourth for the Bucks, who wound up with six players in double figures — three of them reserves. Nikola Mirotic scored 15, Malcolm Brogdon had 14, George Hill 13 and Khris Middleton 12.
Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points for Toronto, which gave up the game's first nine points, never led and trailed by double digits for the final 39 minutes. Kyle Lowry scored 15 and Norman Powell had 14 for the Raptors.
Game 3 is Sunday in Toronto.
Milwaukee, which led the NBA with a 60-22 record during the regular season, became the 16th team to start a playoff run with at least 10 victories in its first 11 games. Only three teams — the 1989 Los Angeles Lakers, the 2001 Lakers and the 2017 Golden State Warriors — started a postseason 11-0.
The Bucks led by as many as 28, before Toronto did just enough chipping away to keep some semblance of hope.
Eventually, Antetokounmpo decided enough was enough.
With 5:51 left to play Antetokounmpo backed Leonard down on the block, spun back toward the center of the lane, scored while getting hit and starting a three-point play.
He yelled to the crowd and punched the air.
The knockout blow was landed, and soon, the Bucks moved two wins away from their first NBA Finals berth in 45 years.
Giannis, George finalists for NBA MVP and defensive award: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George have a chance to be both the NBA's MVP and its Defensive Player of the Year.
Reigning MVP James Harden is the other finalist for the league's top award. The NBA announced three finalists for six individual award categories Friday, based on voting results from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee to the best record in the league and a berth in the Eastern Conference finals. Oklahoma City was eliminated in the first round as George struggled with a shoulder injury that eventually required surgery.
The other finalist for the league's top defensive award was Utah's Rudy Gobert, who won the award last year.
The winners will be announced June 24 during the NBA Awards, when LeBron James will finish outside the top three of the MVP voting for just the second time in the past 11 years.
The other award finalists:
Rookie of the Year: Deandre Ayton, Phoenix; Luka Doncic, Dallas; Trae Young, Atlanta.
Sixth Man Award: Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams, Clippers; Domantas Sabonis, Indiana.
Coach of the Year: Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee; Michael Malone, Denver; Doc Rivers, Clippers.
Most Improved Player: De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento; D'Angelo Russell, Brooklyn; Pascal Siakam, Toronto