Wild’s power play quiet in shutout loss to Blues
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The hottest team in the NHL keeps on winning — with a rookie goaltender helping to make history along the way.
Binnington made 21 saves to blank Arizona on Thursday, and Jake Allen stopped 32 shots in a 3-0 win against Colorado on Saturday. St. Louis hasn’t allowed a goal in 187:16, since late in an 8-3 win over New Jersey on Tuesday.
“It’s all good stuff,” Blues interim coach Craig Berube said. “Players are doing a great job, they’re going out and executing every night and playing hard and doing the right things.”
Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and two assists and Ryan O’Reilly, Vince Dunn and Brayden Schenn also scored to help St. Louis match the best winning streak in franchise history, completed in January 2002. The run also ties the Blues for the longest streak in the NHL this season. The Blues have won eight straight on the road, their best such run since taking 10 straight in 2000.
Alex Stalock stopped 26 shots for Minnesota in his first action since Feb. 2.
Binnington improved to 12-1-1 since making his first NHL start on Jan. 7 with four shutouts on the road.
“I think everyone’s happy as a team for that, and it just shows how good we’re playing as a team,” Binnington said. “I think it’s fun to be a Blues fan now.”
A wide-open Tarasenko scored the first goal 5:08 into the first period. The power-play tally extended Tarasenko’s career-high points streak to 12 games. He has 11 goals and 11 assists during the streak.
“He’s pretty good, as you can see,” Binnington said of Tarasenko. “He’s got a good shot, everyone knows, and it’s fun to watch him. I’m happy to be on this side of it.”
Tarasenko also had an assist on O’Reilly’s goal later in the first that made it 2-0. The assist was Tarasenko’s 400th point. He later picked up the assist on Schenn’s second-period goal that put St. Louis up 4-0. Schenn fired the puck off Wild defenseman Nick Seeler, who slid into the net and took the puck with him.
St. Louis’ power play was 3 for 30 in its previous 13 games heading into Sunday but converted twice in the first period. The Blues finished 2 for 6 with the man advantage.
“Obviously, it’s a special teams game,” Wild center Eric Staal said. “They get two power-play goals early. It’s tough to come back on a team like that.”
Minnesota was 0 for 5 on the power play. The Wild are 1-5-3 in their last nine games and heard boos from the home crowd during Sunday’s loss.
“There’s a lot of stuff that’s we’re just not doing well enough,” said Wild forward Zach Parise. “I just don’t feel like we’re really competing that hard.”
Despite its current four-game losing streak, Minnesota remains in playoff position with the eighth-most points in the Western Conference.
Dunn scored his eighth goal of the year to give the Blues a 3-0 lead in the second. Dunn’s one-timer on a 3-on-1 rush came just after St. Louis successfully killed off a penalty.
Wild C Matt Hendricks (upper body) and C Victor Rask (lower body) both missed their second straight games with injuries. … St. Louis has a plus-26 goal differential during its 10-game win streak. … Tarasenko scored his 204th career goal, which ties him with Pavol Demitra for seventh in Blues history.
Blues: Host Toronto on Tuesday night.
Wild: Host Anaheim on Tuesday night.