The Minnesota Wild came within an inch of tying the St. Louis Blues in Game 2 of their first round playoff series. However, the Blues broke the game open in the final minutes for a 4-1 victory Saturday at the Scottrade Center.
Charlie Coyle stickhandled through a pair of Blues players before sending a shot off the crossbar. The puck bounced down and hit Jake Allen on the back of the leg before trickling back toward the goal line. David Backes knocked the puck off the goal line to keep the Blues in front by a goal.
The Blues (1-1) eventually put the game away in the final two minutes with goals from Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Tarasenko. Berglund took the wind out of the sails of the Wild with one minute and 58 seconds remaining in the third period with a wrist shot through Devan Dubnyk from the face off circle off a rush. Marco Scandella got trapped at center ice to create the odd-man rush, but Dubnyk was in position to make the save and didn’t. Berglund’s shot went under the Wild goaltender’s arm and should have been stopped.
Tarasenko capped the scoring with an empty-net tally with 16.1 seconds remaining to record the first playoff hat trick ever allowed by the Wild. He fired a shot from the red line into the open net with Ryan Suter backing off. He got the scoring started at the 13:18 mark of the first period by re-directing a shot from Alexander Steen past Dubnyk. Tarasenko gave the Blues a two-goal lead with a power play tally with one minute and 59 seconds remaining in the first period with a bad angle shot that caught Dubnyk cheating to the backdoor. Dubnyk separated from the post giving Tarasenko a big gap to bank the shot into the net off of him.
The Wild (1-1) dominated the third period to cut a two-goal deficit to one one minute and 46 seconds into it. Scandella broke his stick on a one-timer off a drop pass from Thomas Vanek. The puck slid through traffic and found a small hole past Allen for the goal.
No. 3 – Patrik Berglund. The Blues forward scored a goal.
No. 2 – Jake Allen. The Blues goaltender stopped 24 shots.
No. 1 – Vladimir Tarasenko. The Blues forward scored three goals.
Minnesota….…0 0 1 – 1
St. Louis………2 0 2 – 4
First Period – 1, St. Louis, Tarasenko 1 (Steen, Shattenkirk), 13:18. 2, St. Louis, Tarasenko 2 (Steen, Shattenkirk), 18:01 (pp). Penalties – Dumba, MIN (interference), 17:43.
Second Period – None. Penalties – Michael, STL (interference), 7:22; Spurgeon, MIN (interference), 10:31; Parise, MIN (goaltender interference), 13:24.
Third Period – 3, Minnesota, Scandella 1 (Vanek, Coyle), 1:46. 4, St. Louis, Berglund 1 (unassisted), 18:02. 5. St. Louis, Tarasenko 3 (Lehtera), 19:43 (en). Penalties – None.
Shots on goal – Minnesota 7-10-8 25. St. Louis 9-10-8 27.
Goalies – Minnesota, Dubnyk (23-26). St. Louis, Allen (24-25). Referees – Francis Charron, Kelly Sutherland. Linesmen – Tim Nowak, Steve Barton.