Blues dominated in 6-2 loss to Wild
ST. LOUIS — Mikko Koivu was embarrassed. His teammates on the Minnesota Wild were simply angry after a dismal performance Saturday in a five-goal loss at Dallas.
“It was something you want to forget right away and move forward,” Koivu said.
The Wild did just that Tuesday night. Jason Zucker tied a career high with his 22nd goal and Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves to help Minnesota to a 6-2 win over the St. Louis Blues.
The bounce-back victory came 72 hours after a humbling 6-1 setback against the Stars.
Koivu, Nino Niederreiter, Marcus Foligno, Matt Dumba and Eric Staal also scored for Minnesota, which has won three of four. The Wild moved within four points of third-place St. Louis in the Central Division.
Jaden Schwartz and Dmitrij Jaskin scored for the Blues, who had won four of five.
Dubnyk improved to 21-10-3 by winning his third successive start.
Minnesota put aside one of its poorest performances of the season by scoring six straight goals.
“The most important thing is how we responded,” Dubnyk said. “We’ve got a group that’s played a lot of hockey and we know what it takes to win on the road.”
The Wild improved to 11-15-1 away from home with their second victory in three road games.
“I hope this is a confidence booster,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “To win in this building is a little special.”
Zucker, now in his seventh year, scored 22 goals last season in 79 games. He tied that mark in his 53rd game this season.
“It feels good, but I’m not satisfied with it and I want to be better,” Zucker said. “It’s nice to be clicking as a line, but it’s even better to get a win against a team like this. As long as we continue playing like this, we’ll be fine.”
Foligno broke a 1-all tie by poking in a rebound at 16:53 of the first period. Koivu pushed the lead to 3-1 just 74 seconds later on a backhand from the slot.
St. Louis goalie Carter Hutton was pulled at the end of the first period after giving up three goals on eight shots. He came into the game with four consecutive wins and had stopped 121 of his previous 123 shots.
The Blues had earned at least one point in 18 of their last 20 home games against the Wild.
“No one wants to play like this,” St. Louis forward Vladimir Tarasenko said. “We’re trying hard. I know it’s not enough. It’s on us to find out what’s going on.”
Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo agreed.
“I wish I had an answer. Just disconnect all over the ice,” he said.
NOTES: The Blues play eight of their next 11 games against Central Division teams. … Blues coach Mike Yeo served as coach of the Wild from 2011-16 and compiled a 173-132-44 mark. … Minnesota RW Chris Stewart, who played for St. Louis during two stints from 2010-14, was a healthy scratch for the fourth time in seven games.
Wild: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night in the first of five straight home games.
Blues: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.