The Minnesota Wild had a one-goal lead with less than six minutes remaining in the game, but a turnover in their own zone led a St. Louis Blues game-tying goal. The Blues rode the momentum to a 3-2 shootout victory Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Ryan Suter tried to make a pass up the middle of the ice at the blue line as he fell down near the boards. Patrik Berglund intercepted the puck and fed David Backes, who was all alone on Niklas Backstrom.
Even though they didn’t have many offensive zone chances in the third period, the Mikael Granlund-Zach Parise-Jason Pominville line had a few opportunities. However, they could not get the separating goal.
“I thought we would,” Parise said about getting a third goal. “It was a game we felt like we deserved to win. I thought we played pretty (well) for the full game. We didn’t really give them much. We spent a lot of good time in their zone — a lot of extended shifts in their zone. We’re trying to get that other one and make a two-goal lead and unfortunately we couldn’t.”
Thomas Vanek and Nino Niederreiter came the closest to getting another goal past Jake Allen, but their shots stopped on the goal line. Vanek’s came on a bad angle shot that squirting through the goaltender, but stopped on the goal line in the second period during a five-minute power play. Niederreiter’s came in the third period when he tried to tuck a shot just inside the post, but again the puck stopped on the goal line.
The Wild (13-9-1) scored two straight goals in the second period to change a goal deficit into a goal lead. Mikko Koivu got the Wild on the board 14 minutes and 26 into the second period, four minutes and six seconds after the Blues scored, with a wrist shot over the shoulder of Allen.
The Wild took the lead just inside the final minute of the second period. Parise fired a shot through traffic that changed direction before getting past Allen.
Despite entering the game first and second on the team in goals, neither Nino Niederreiter and Jason Zucker played during the overtime session. Yeo said after the game that he called their number, but wanted natural centers on the ice with so many face offs during the extra period.
The Blues (16-6-2) scored the game’s first goal on an unassisted tally by Vladimir Tarasenko, who also scored the only goal of the shootout. The Blues forward intercepted a clearing attempt at the Wild blue line and skated through the slot to the backdoor without being touched by neither Keith Ballard nor Nate Prosser. He just patiently waited for the Wild defenders and Backstrom to make the first move and had a wide open net.
Marco Scandella was assessed with an illegal check to the head minor penalty with a hit to T.J. Oshie. He respects the league and any decisions they make, but does not feel that he will face supplemental discipline.
The Wild return to action Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens at the Xcel Energy Center.
No. 3 – Jake Allen. The Blues goaltender stopped 36 shots and three shootout attempts.
No. 2 – Zach Parise. The Wild forward scored a goal.
No. 1 – Vladimir Tarasenko. The Blues forward scored a goal.
St. Louis…..…0 1 1 0 – 3
Minnesota……0 2 0 0 – 2
First Period – None. Penalties – Scandella, MIN (illegal check to the head), 8:45; Lehtera, STL (roughing), 10:47.
Second Period – 1, St. Louis, Tarasenko 14 (unassisted), 10:20. 2, Minnesota, Koivu 3 (Zucker, Coyle), 14:26. 3, Minnesota, Parise 9 (Suter, Pominville), 19:01 (pp). Penalties – Jackman, STL (cross checking), 4:45; Porter, STL (hooking), 10:35; Shattenkirk, STL, major (checking from behind; served by Tarasenko), 15:47; Shattenkirk, STL, misconduct (game), 15:47.
Third Period – 4, St. Louis, Backes 7 (Berglund), 14:27. Penalties – Granlund, MIN (hooking), 1:41.
Overtime – None. Penalties – None.
Shootout – St. Louis: Oshie (save), Steen (save), Tarasenko (goal). Minnesota: Parise (save), Koivu (save), Pominville (save).
Shots on goal – St. Louis 7-5-10-4 26. Minnesota 10-17-11-0 38.
Goalies – St. Louis, Allen (36-38). Minnesota, Backstrom (24-26). Referees – Kevin Pollock, Graham Skilliter. Linesmen – Lonnie Cameron, Brian Mach.