Blues take 2-0 series lead with 2-1 win over Wild

Canadiens 3, Rangers 1: Alexander Radulov had a goal and an assist to lead Montreal to a victory over the New York Rangers at New York, giving the Canadiens a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Minnesota tied it with a goal from Coyle with 7:01 left in the second period. The goal was the third in 23 playoff games for Parayko, who scored four goals in 81 games this season.

"I don't think he's in our head", center Eric Staal insisted Thursday, barely 12 hours after the Wild victimized at midnight. Joel Edmundson (shockingly) posted his second goal of the series and Jaden Schwartz notched the go-ahead tally in the waning moments of the third period.

Though the third period was intense, and included power play opportunities for the Wild, the Blues held serve. But he may not be coming back to visit anytime soon. Dubnyk saved 20 of 22 shots.

Fresh off the best regular season in franchise history and armed a deep forward unit that deposited more pucks into the net than all but one National Hockey League team, the Wild coach didn't expect to be staring down an 0-3 deficit in a seven-game, first-round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues. In the first game especially the Wild did not get many looks close to the net. "During the course of the season, one of things we always do or say is 'two goals or two minors or less and we're gonna win.' So far in the postseason, that same thing hasn't happened".

"He does everything well, especially shoot the puck", Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said of Parayko. After three seasons, Sobotka returned for the final regular-season game and signed an extension with the Blues.

Propelled by an excellent opening period, the Blues were energized throughout a 3-1 Game 3 win over the Wild Sunday at Scottrade Center.

After the first game, in which the Wild doubled the Blues shots on goal, Vladimir Tarasenko told Fox Sports that the team needed a better defensive effort.

The good news for Minnesota is that Game 4 of the series won't resume until Wednesday night, so they will have an extra day to prepare.

Radulov, who got the overtime victor in Game 2 on Friday night after Tomas Plekanec tied it with 18 seconds left in regulation, has 2 goals and 3 assists in the past 2 games. You wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it.

The last times the Blues went up 2-0 on the road, they swept those series - once in 2001 against the Dallas Stars and once in 1993 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"In reality, no one expects us, except the group that we have, to win", Boudreau said. Allen still made 40 saves to carry the Blues to another win, with goals at a premium on the playoff stage. He was drilled into the boards during Friday night's game. Yeah, they were swarming all over the ice, they had us hemmed in there, but we chipped pucks out, we made simple plays.

Erik Haula took a serious shot behind the play Friday and stayed down for a bit in the closing moments of the second period Friday.

Chicago was shut out in consecutive playoff games for the first time since it was blanked in three straight in April 2002 against St. Louis.

"Everything they've done", Boudreau said, "we've expected".

A soft goal allowed, a bad penalty taken, a power-play goal allowed Sunday and Minnesota found itself chasing all over again. "I don't think they would change the way they were playing if it was the first period, but if we had a one-goal lead in the third period, it might make a little bit of difference".

  • Julie Sanders