Game Report: Blues 2, Wild 1

By Nicholas Hand

Mike Yeo’s return to Minnesota as the head coach of the Blues was successful with the win over his former team as the Blues won their second consecutive game.

David Perron and Vladimir Tarasenko provided the offense for St. Louis with Jake Allen making 32 saves as the Blues moved three points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for the final wild card position in the Western Conference.

Allen lost his bid for his second consecutive shutout when Minnesota scored with just 11 seconds left in the game.

The Blues and Allen withstood an early barrage by the Wild that included a power play after Joel Edmundson took a slashing penalty on Jason Zucker at 6:58 of the opening period.

Allen was solid in the first period with 11 saves and put the Blues into position to grab the first goal.

Perron’s 13th of the season gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 10:24 of the period on a deflection in front of the net following a point shot from Colton Parayko. Alexander Steen also assisted on the goal.

The Blues carried the lead into the second period and both teams nearly scored on St. Louis’ power play opportunity after a Mikael Granlund slashing minor at 8:21.

A blown assignment by the Blues power play put Eric Staal on a shorthanded breakaway. Allen showed strong patience in between the pipes and failed to open his five-hole on Staal’s move across the crease.

The Blues then took the puck the other way with Patrik Berglund deflecting a shot from the point past Dubnyk. However, video review showed that Berglund deflected the puck over the height of the crossbar resulting in no goal.

The Blues had another prime opportunity in the period but Jaden Schwartz was unable to locate a Paul Stastny pass with a wide-open net on a three on two rush with Tarasenko.

The Blues strong defensive play continued in the third period and St. Louis took a 2-0 lead on Tarasenko’s 29th goal of the season with 8:57 remaining in regulation.

Alex Pietrangelo kept the puck in at the blueline and threw the puck towards the net hitting Schwartz. Schwartz gained possession and sent a backhanded pass through a pair of Wild skates to an open Tarasenko who buried it past Dubnyk.

The Blues kept the Wild off the scoreboard until the final 11 seconds of the contest when a dump-in attempt by Mikko Koivu jumped off the ice about four feet from Allen and over his shoulder to cut the lead to 2-1.

The Blues won the ensuing faceoff and dumped the puck into Minnesota’s zone to kill the clock for a 2-1 final score.

Of Note: The Blues signed center Tage Thompson to an amateur tryout contract for this season and a three-year entry level contract that will start in the 2017-18 season before the game on Tuesday. Thompson, the 26th overall pick by St. Louis in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, will report to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL for the remainder of the season.

Looking Ahead: The Blues return home for back-to-back games at Scottrade Center on Friday night against the Anaheim Ducks and Saturday night against the New York Islanders.