The Blues could have been a bit better on the penalty kill, as the Wild's top line confounded the Blues' defense. Luckily for the Blues, their own defense's offense threw Minnesota for a loop.
Tonight was the Blues' defense's night to shine offensively. Wade Redden opened the scoring for the second game in a row, booming a shot past Nicklas Backstrom at 9:16 of the first period. Both David Backes and David Perron got their third assists of the young season.
In the exact opposite of last night, where the Blues scored three goals in the second period, they allowed three goals. Two of the three were to Wild recent acquisition Zach Parise, and both of them were on the power play. His first goal came just over two minutes into the second period while Alex Pietrangelo was in the box for a holding the stick penalty. Parise's second goal was scored nine minutes later with assists from Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley. Minnesota's top line has accounted for most of their goals scored, with Parise himself having five through the end of this game.
The Blues faced even more trouble in the second period when Mikko Koivu scored his first of the year, but Patrik Berglund managed to get the Blues to within one on his goal, which featured some absurd skill from David Perron:
Perron's slick assist got him moved to Berglund and Chris Stewart's line, while Jaden Schwartz was placed with Backes and T.J. Oshie to start the third period. It was a great move by Ken Hitchcock, but Chris Stewart's fourth goal of the year came on the powerplay, and came through the moves of the dynamic duo of Kevin Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo:
It was tremendous enough to have the game tied, but the go-ahead goal for the Blues came from the most unlikely of sources -- Barret Jackman. With assists from Vladimir Tarasenko (who is on a three game point streak, much like Berglund and Shattenkirk are) and Shattenkirk, Jackman's booming slapshop found its way through traffic and past Backstrom:
The Blues' excitement didn't last for long, as Dany Heatley found a way to equalize the game with just over four minutes remaining. The goal was reviewed thanks to Heatley tapping it in a bit high, but the puck was found to have made contact with his stick under the crossbar, so off to extra time the game went.
Thankfully the Blues and Vladimir Sobotka were able to solve the game in overtime. Sobe wristed the game winner home just a little over two minutes into the overtime period:
The Blues played well tonight as a whole, outshooting the Wild 34-16. They also showcased how deep their scoring depth is. From the top line all the way to Barret Jackman, the Blues can find someone to score. Unfortunately for Brian Elliott, he was the recipient of a few moments of defensive lapse, and did not have his strongest game in recent memory. This time around, though, it didn't end the same way that the game did in Chicago. The Blues played much more strongly in this second game of a back to back than they did in the previous. They have to get used to the idea of not having a lot of rest. I realize it's impossible to not have that impact your play, but if they want to pick up as many points as possible, they're going to have to play more like tonight than they did against the Blackhawks.
It would be helpful if the Blues did not persist in winning games in a "come from behind" manner. Aside from their two shutout wins against Detroit and Nashville, the rest of their wins have been come from behind ones --- but ones where they've been the first to score. Score first, keep up the pressure consistently, and don't take your foot off of the gas. Next to impossible to do when you're on a sprint like every team in the NHL is right now, but you have to do your best to not let the other team get into the game.
The Blues' next game isn't until Thursday night, when they travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets at 6:00. A few nights off will do the Blues a world of good. Fresh legs will help them against a pesky Blue Jackets team, and maybe this time they can win a game without having to claw the lead back.