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
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
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
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.