The Minnesota Wild scored four unanswered goals to beat the St. Louis Blues 4-1 Friday at the Scottrade Center in Game 5 of their first round Stanley Cup playoff series. Nino Niederreiter and Mikko Koivu scored one minute and 26 seconds apart late in the second period to break a 1-1 tie.
Devan Dubnyk made the lead hold up with 36 saves, including 19 in the third period and two point-blank opportunities by Alexander Steen in close in the second period.
Niederreiter one-timed a pass from Chris Stewart at the top of the circles off the post and into the net at the 14:56 mark of the period for the game-winner. Stewart battled through Zbynek Michalek along the boards before cutting out of the corner to the net and sliding a backhand pass to Niederreiter.
Koivu extended the lead on the team’s next shot on goal with a bad angle pass toward Stewart that deflected off the skate of Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and over Blues goaltender Jake Allen’s shoulder. Koivu received a pass from Zach Parise on the power play and worked the goal line before trying to hit Stewart on the backdoor.
The Blues (2-3) scored the first with a power play backdoor tap-in by Vladimir Tarasenko. He one-timed a pass across the crease from Steen just over halfway through a power play.
The Wild (3-2) tied the game three minutes and two seconds later on a slap shot by Marco Scandella on the team’s first shot on goal in the game. He took a pass from Jared Spurgeon and turned it into a rush with the Blues trying to make a change. Allen should have stopped the shot that got a lot of his glove before popping into the net. No team in the series had come back to tie a game in which they trailed.
Charlie Coyle capped the scoring with a quick shot from the top of the circles off a pass from Thomas Vanek with five minutes and 10 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
Jason Zucker left the game early after receiving a few whacks on the hand that he blocked a shot with earlier in the series.
No. 3 – Nino Niederreiter. The Wild forward scored the game-winning goal.
No. 2 – Marco Scandella. The Wild defenseman scored a goal.
No. 1 – Devan Dubnyk. The Wild goaltender stopped 36 shots.
Minnesota….…1 2 1 – 4
St. Louis………1 0 0 – 1
First Period – 1, St. Louis, Tarasenko 6 (Steen, Schwartz), 8:04, (pp). 2, Minnesota, Scandella 2 (Spurgeon), 11:06. Penalties – Jaskin, STL (hooking), 4:16; Niederreiter, MIN (tripping), 6:11.
Second Period – 3, Minnesota, Niederreiter 2 (Stewart), 14:56. 4, Minnesota, Koivu (Parise, Suter), 16:22, (pp). Penalties – Stewart, MIN (roughing), 6:20; Ott, STL (roughing), 6:20; Shattenkirk, STL (interference), 15:40.
Third Period – 5, Minnesota, Coyle 1 (Vanek, Zucker), 14:50. Penalties – Cooke, MIN (tripping), 12:16.
Shots on goal – Minnesota 3-13-3 19. St. Louis 12-6-19 37.
Goalies – Minnesota, Dubnyk (36-37). St. Louis, Allen (15-19). Referees – Chris Lee, Brad Watson. Linesmen – Shane Heyer, Kiel Murchison.