The St. Louis Blues defeated the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in game two of their first-round NHL playoff series to take a 2-0 series lead.
Game one hero Joel Edmundson potted his second goal of the series and Jaden Schwartz scored the eventual game-winner to send the Blues back to St. Louis with a chance to put a stranglehold on the series.
Edmundson opened the scoring 3:51 into the second period while the Wild had a delayed penalty. Blues forward Patrik Berglund caught a pass up by the blue line in the Wild zone and sauced a pass across the ice to a waiting Edmundson. He ripped a one-time slapshot and beat Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk glove side.
After the first game, in which the Wild doubled the Blues shots on goal, Vladimir Tarasenko told Fox Sports that the team needed a better defensive effort.
“We can’t leave him like this to make unreal saves five to seven times a game,” Tarasenko said. “We need to play better defense and play on the same page.”
They delivered and held Minnesota to 24 shots, just two more than the Blues had. Not only did the Blues limit Minnesota’s shots on goal, but they also contained them at even strength. The Wild failed to find the back of the net in five-on-five play, with their only goal coming from Zach Parise on a 5-on-3 near the end of the second period.
Despite this, Blues goalie Jake Allen still sees room for improvement.
“It was a better game, but we’ve still got a ways to go,” Allen told Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I don’t think we’re satisfied with the way we’re playing yet. A huge two wins for us, but we haven’t seen our best. We got two wins, you’re definitely happy about that, but we need a little bit better effort and I think we’re going to get it.”
As the third period went on, the two teams were deadlocked and looking to take the lead.
With 2:27 left in regulation, Jaden Schwartz scored his first goal of the playoffs to win the game for St. Louis. Schwartz took the puck into the Wild zone, skated to the middle of the ice and whipped a wrist shot over Dubnyk’s shoulder. The Wild couldn’t find the equalizer in the remaining two and a half minutes, and St. Louis took the win.
The series will now shift to St. Louis, where the Blues will try to take a menacing 3-0 series lead at the Scottrade Center on Easter Sunday. Puck drop is scheduled for 2 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on NBC.
Edited by Eli Lederman | firstname.lastname@example.org