Expected out for Game 3

Game 2 of their quarterfinal series against the Minnesota Wild started much like Game 1 did - with the Blues seemingly on their heels, allowing the opposition to hem them into their defensive zone for long stretches of time.

"We'll regroup, see if there is something we can do differently".

"He probably could have taken him out, but it was a good move and a great play", Boudreau said. If we were getting smoked every game, obviously then that's a different story. "But quite frankly, we miss in one end, they score in the other, it's execution", Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said of his team's approach for the next game. They're not just going to lose, we're going to have to beat them if that's the case, and for us to do that, we're going to have to continue what we've done and try to get better.

Allen has stopped 74 of 76 shots.

A pair of minor penalties on Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson put the Wild on the power play twice in the second period, but they could not capitalize. In heavy traffic, he stood in front of the net and took a pass from Alexander Steen and stuffed it past goalie Devan Dubnyk for a 2-1 advantage with 4:41 left in the second period.

"He's been unbelievable, a big reason why we got these three wins, and it gives us a lot of confidence", Schwartz said of Allen. I think you can look at it, we dug ourselves a tremendous hole across the board.

Game 2 was feistier and uglier than Game 1, though the same late-game drama stayed intact.

So are the Wild, who will have to win four consecutive games in order to win the series and advance to the second round.

Mikko Koivu's deflection hit the post and Jason Pominville's unabated drive to the net was denied by Allen, to name two of them in the third period.

"They're defending hard. Their goalie has been seeing the puck well, and one thing they do well is they have five guys around the paint so it makes it tough for us to get on the inside", Pominville said.

"It's disappointing. We played well both games".

And boy could the Wild use that extra day right now.

With a six-man blue line group averaging 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, buoyed by the return of the hard-nosed Robert Bortuzzo to the lineup, the Blues blocked 19 shots and began to create some frustration for the Wild.

The Blues had 11 of their 23 blocks in the final frame.

Parise let out a roar and the Xcel Energy Center crowd of 19,404 on hand - the largest crowd of the season and third-largest playoff crowd in franchise history - followed suit with a deafening cheer.

Wall scored 15 points in the third quarter and finished with 14 assists in the best playoff performance of his young career. Three have been in the postseason.

The Blues played the ideal postseason road game for 59 minutes, 37 seconds until the levee finally broke when Zach Parise buried the tying goal with 22.7 ticks remaining in the third period off a deft set-up by Mikko Koivu.

The Blues have shut down Minnesota's offense - or at least every player not named Zach Parise, who scored the goal that sent game one into overtime and who scored the Wild's lone goal on Friday.

The St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild meet Friday in game two of the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs at the Xcel Energy Center.

With 2:27 left in regulation, Jaden Schwartz scored his first goal of the playoffs to win the game for St. Louis.

  • Julie Sanders