Wild 3, Blues 2, SO

After shaking off a frustrating overtime, the Minnesota Wild

finally ended their free fall.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored in regulation and in the shootout in

a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night, helping the

Wild end an eight-game losing streak that had dropped them to 12th

in the Western Conference.

”It’s just good for the guys to get a win,” forward Eric

Nystrom said. ”It’s really hard on us. You leave the rink and you

want to leave the game there, but it just dwells on you. It’s good

to feel good about ourselves.”

Chris Stewart scored twice for the fifth time in 20 games since

joining the Blues, who had their penalty kill unit out for more

than half of the overtime. St. Louis faced much tighter defense

three days after winning 6-3 at Minnesota while taking 47 shots,

and had only a 29-28 advantage in the rematch.

”Overall we played a good game, but we got in penalty

trouble,” goalie Jaroslav Halak said. ”Especially at the end of

the game we’ve got to keep it simple. At least we got one

point.”

The Wild outshot St. Louis 8-1 in the extra period. No doubt

frustrating at the time, it was forgotten after beating the Blues

for the third time in four meetings.

”I always say it’s a good sign when you get chances,” said

Mikko Koivu, who got the deciding goal in the shootout. ”Keep

getting shots like that and opportunities will go in sooner or

later.”

Bouchard and Koivu beat Halak the first two rounds of the

shootout while Jose Theodore stopped two of the Blues’ three

attempts. Minnesota, which had been outscored 37-12 during the

slump, also tied a franchise record with its 19th road victory.

Stewart’s backhander put the Blues up 2-1 on the first shot of

the third period. But the Wild quickly answered as Bouchard circled

the offensive zone before tying it less than 2 1/2 minutes

later.

Nystrom ended an eight-game point drought on the Wild’s first

shot of the game from the high slot, perhaps catching Halak off

guard. The Blues tied it midway through the first period on

Stewart’s one-timer off Patrik Berglund’s backhand feed from the

side of the net.

Stewart has 12 goals in 20 games since coming in a trade from

Colorado, seven of them on the power play.

”I said that from Day 1, as soon as I got here the adjustment

was very easy,” Stewart said. ”They made the transition for me so

easy I felt like I’d been here my whole career.”

The Blues missed a chance to take the lead in the closing

seconds of the second period when David Backes’ deflection through

Theodore’s pads hit the post.

NOTES: Berglund has 47 points, matching his career best in his

2008-09 rookie season. … Nystrom had been scoreless the previous

eight games. … The Blues have sold out all 38 home games. …

There was mild booing when T.J. Oshie’s name was announced among

the Blues’ scratches. Oshie served the first of a two-game

disciplinary suspension after missing practice on Monday. … The

Wild also had 19 road wins in 2006-07 and 2007-08.