Wild confident but know Game 2 is a must-win

History tells us that a 3-0 lead is an (almost) completely insurmountable series deficit.

"Both games could've gone either way", Boudreau said. "It's the most fun time of the year, so we know they are going to be prepared to get going next game". Those coming from the second-best offensive team in the National Hockey League throughout the regular season.

Fragility doomed the Wild during the Mike Yeo era, so it was ironic that the half-season Blues coach reaped the rewards of his team's steely resolve in the face of Minnesota's relentless pressure. This gives Schwartz more time and provides more traffic that Devan Dubnyk has to fight through to see the shot.

Minnesota had four players in the regular season surpass the 20-goal mark in the regular season.

Said Dubnyk: "We just need to get the next one". Yeah, they were swarming all over the ice, they had us hemmed in there, but we chipped pucks out, we made simple plays.

"We have to look at it like it's a Game 7", Boudreau said.

Keeping calm and staying steady were the keys to victory for Jake Allen and the Blues in weathering all that pressure from the Minnesota Wild. Coyle was pinned down by Upshall during contact along the boards and lost his helmet in the ensuing scrap after fighting back. He converted a pass from Alexander Steen from behind the net to snap a 1-1 tie at 15:19 of the second period while the Wild's Ryan White was serving a minor high-sticking penalty against Schwartz.

Fired up by 1960s pop star Ginette Reno's national anthem, the Canadiens were all over NY in the opening period, but the Rangers struck first at 9:50.

"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. We were (redacted) good tonight.

With Yeo now directing strategy, using to his advantage almost five years of insight into the Wild's personalities, preferences and tendencies, the Blues kept up their stifling defense by packing those big bodies in tight.

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.

Yeo obviously knows the Wild well, though, and he has to have a hunch Allen is getting to them, whether he'll say it or not. Just a few minutes after Edmundson's long-distance one-timer, Marco Scandella's uncontested wrist shot banged off the crossbar and went straight up.

"It's a good start for us, but the job's not over yet", Schwartz said. Kassian, who was arguably the Oilers' best player in Game 2, scored for the second consecutive game after tallying seven in 79 regular season games. Blues rookie RW Zach Sanford made his postseason debut, with Jori Lehtera scratched and Steen centering the third line. In 154 career games, including 18 in the playoffs, the 23-year-old defenseman has just seven goals. It was his sixth career playoff goal for Coyle.

Zach Parise scored a power play goal in Friday's 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

Blues 3, Wild 1: Jaden Schwartz scored the go-ahead goal in the second and Jake Allen made 40 saves to lead St. Louis to a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.

The St. Louis Blues know two things after the first two games of their first-round playoff series against the Minnesota Wild.

The Blues took a 1-0 lead into the second period Sunday on a goal by Colton Parayko, but then hit some adversity.

  • Julie Sanders