Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. St. Louis, Game 2

Beth Cruz
April 14, 2017

It took a little more than 77 minutes for the Blues to eek out a win despite being outshot by nearly 30 shots.

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk was a making a strong case to be the Vezina Trophy victor until he began to struggle in the net during the March nosedive.

St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen was only concerned about one statistic after a record-setting night between the pipes: the score in the series.

That felt like a series between two evenly matched teams.

Boudreau, on notice to exorcise his own playoff demons, struck a note of self-deprecation at the end of his news conference when he was asked whether the Wild were healthy.

The Blues no longer have David Backes and TJ Oshie, forwards that were HUGE in the last series. Parise, trying to help from the side of the net, got his stick between Allen and the goal line just in time to stop the puck and lever it out of harm's way.

The Wild dominated the shots early in the second as well, but the Blues made the first mark on the scoreboard.

"We know their identity, the way they play". Sharks D Brent Burns launched 18 shot attempts (8 SOG) in a 3-2 overtime win in Game One at Edmonton and had a strong possession game alongside partner Paul Martin (21 for, 6 against, 77.8 CF%, 15-3 scoring chances)...

The NHL playoff game between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues will be broadcast on the NBCSN and Sportsnet 360 in Canada.

The Wild put 52 shots on goal, out-shooting the Blues 52-26, but only one goal went in the net.

Allen had a season-high 51 saves, and Vladimir Sobotka scored in regulation for the Blues, who took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven set. "He looked good today, felt good".

Allen was standing tall a day after facing 52 shots and said he was feeling fine. "It's just a win", Allen said on Thursday after a light practice as both teams tuned up for Game 2 on Friday.

"That's playoff hockey. Sometimes it's a unusual game", said Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, who made 24 saves.

"The Tarasenko guy, you can control him for the whole game, and then he gets the one chance", Wild coach Bruce Boudreau lamented. The Wild pulled goalie Devan Dubnyk, giving them an extra attacker.

That term is probably overused, but whatever we saw in Game 1 was not Blues hockey.

The Wild aren't a particularly physical team. With the Blues history, as well as big defenseman and Ryan Reaves on the roster, there was an impression the Wild may struggle to play physical playoff hockey alongside St. Louis.

BRUINS 2, SENATORS 1: Brad Marchand broke a tie with 2:33 left and Boston held on to beat Ottawa in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

The Wild are a speed team, but getting ground down hasn't been an issue at all this season. They don't even have a team. Teams that have gone the distance and made the Final in recent seasons haven't been bruising teams.

That sequence was a little lucky, but Allen showed plenty of skill.

Game two is Friday night at Xcel and if we learned anything from game one it's that you never know who the hero is going to be.

"We outplayed them", said Charlie Coyle, sagely adding that the only thing the Wild failed to do was outscore the Blues. "And you see how he's factoring in on our penalty kill and our defensive game right now, he's obviously been a big addition for us". Vladimir Tarasenko's incredible shot and strength. All of the bounces seemed to go the Blues way while the Wild could not buy a goal.

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