Backstrom backstops Wild vs. Blues
Niklas Backstrom made 33 saves and the Minnesota Wild beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 Wednesday night in an exhibition game.
Matt Cooke, Charlie Coyle and Torrey Mitchell scored for Minnesota.
Jaden Schwartz scored for the Blues. Jaroslav Halak stopped 12 of 13 shots before being replaced by Brian Elliott in the second period. Elliott made eight saves.
Cooke gave the Wild a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when his wrist shot from high in the slot bounced high off the pads of Halak, landed near the goal line and trickled across.
Coyle scored his team-best third preseason goal on a breakaway 38 seconds into the third and Mitchell stole the puck from Elliott for a wraparound short-handed goal 2 minutes later for a 3-0 lead.
Schwartz scored a short-handed goal midway through the third for his team-leading third preseason goal.