Blues beat Wild in OT
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 21, 2017,
Apr 21, 2017, 23:07
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. F Sonny Milano was recalled from Cleveland of the American Hockey League to replace Matt Calvert, who was suspended a game for breaking his stick on Pittsburgh's Tom Kuhnhackl on Friday night.
With frustration mounting, Minnesota got a break in the form of back-to-back penalties on St. Louis, which gave the Wild 85 seconds of a five-on-three power play.
Heck, the Wild were supposedly figuring things out after a rough March, and entered the postseason with points in seven of their final eight games.
Given the success of the Blues game plan in game 1 and 2, there likely won't be much change in their strategy.
Minnesota tied it with a goal from Coyle with 7:01 left in the second period. Alexander Steen took a holding penalty, Upshall was called for elbowing and all of a sudden the Wild had a 5-on-3 advantage for 85 seconds with the second intermission fast approaching.
The teams traded goals in the third period before Guentzel beat Bobrovsky for the victor. A huge two wins for us, but we haven't seen our best.
Charlie Coyle scored and Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves for the Wild, who were held to one goal for the third straight game. When you play the same team over and over again, they know exactly what we're doing, we know what we're doing. It's a little disheartening what happened in the first two games.
"I remember one particular time when he got pulled earlier and things weren't going well and I remember saying, 'This is going to make you a way better player when you get through this, '" Yeo said.
"They pushed really hard and put us on our heels a bit and we grinded and we got it done". The team is hoping to tie up the series with a win at home on Wednesday. I think a ideal example would have been where (Jason) Zucker came out of the penalty box two games ago and over-skated it, then passed it to (Eric) Staal, and Staal panicked and threw it across. "Tomorrow is a great opportunity for us to get back on the board".
"Marty does a real good job with that, too - helping him prepare and put the last one behind him and focus on the next one", Yeo said.
The Blues scored an empty net goal with just over a minute to play, to give St. Louis a 3-1 victory and bringing them a game away from advancing, and the Wild a game away from the end of their season.
"They literally get a power-play goal and it's the difference in the game and really all three games have been that way", Dubnyk said.
Former NHL coach Barry Melrose had a saying during the Stanley Cup Playoffs that goes, "This time of year your best players have to be your best players". "We just have to go in and look at Sunday and say, 'OK. That's all it comes down to".
"It seems like right now we're playing a little bit tight", forward Marian Hossa said. That's how you mature and how you grow as a group. I like the Blues to complete the sweep. They aren't just going to lose. "Putting pucks to the net and trying to get some bounces and see if we can turn the momentum".
The Wild finally tied the score at 12:59 of the second period. C Eric Haula was in the lineup for the Wild after missing practice on Saturday.
Game 3 is on Sunday. Keeping the Minnesota Wild forwards out of the crease was clearly a priority. Game 4 is Wednesday in St. Louis.