Forwards: Jaden Schwartz/Ivan Barbashev/Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexander Steen/Patrik Berglund/David Perron
Vladimir Sobotka/Jori Lehtera/Magnus Paajarvi
Scottie Upshall/Kyle Brodziak/Ryan Reaves
Defensemen: Jay Bouwmeester/Alex Pietrangelo
Joel Edmundson/Colton Parayko
Carl Gunnarsson/Jordan Schmaltz
Goaltender: Jake Allen
The Blues played well enough late in the year to earn them the third spot. That gave them the right to face off against the Wild. The Wild finished second in the division. The Wild also stumbled down the stretch, after a great start to the season. (They were 8-10-2 down the stretch). Which Wild team showed up in this one?!?!
First Period -
It was a slow start for the Blues tonight. Well for the majority of the team. Jake Allen had to be strong early on in this one. More so when Erik Haula was taking the puck away and charging toward the net. Haula tried going backhand on Allen, but Jake was able to keep the puck out of the net.
Jake Allen continued to make saves, and needed to, as the Blues didn't get their first shot on goal until almost midway through the period. On this save, Jason Pominville makes a pass to Eric Staal. Staal then fires it from the circle. Allen makes the save, and offensive powerhouse Chris Stewart can't get the rebound chance.
In the final few minutes of the period, Allen had to be strong once again. Haula is able to fire a shot on goal, Pominville is able to clean up the rebound chance after Edmundson whiffed on the clear.
As mentioned above, the Blues didn't get a shot on goal until roughly nine minutes in. The Blues ended up being outshot by the Wild by just one at 10-9.
Second Period -
The Blues continued to be outplayed. It didn't help matters that they gave the Wild a powerplay opportunity just seconds into the period. Despite everything seemingly going against the Blues (minus Allen)they scored first. Vladimir Sobotka breaks the 0-0 tie. The Wild won the initial face off, but turned the puck over. The puck eventually made its way over to Sobotka who fired a shot that deflected off a Wild defenseman. That deflection was enough to get by Dubnyk for the 1-0 Blues lead. That's Sobotka's second goal in as many games back with the Blues.
The Blues didn't pull a Blues and give up a goal moments after they scored. Luckily. Allen was still playing out of his mind when he was able to deny Jason Zucker not once, but twice. Everything was coming up snake eyes.
The save of the game came in the late moments of the second period. Not only did Allen stop Zucker yet again, but absolutely robs Charlie Coyle in front with his glove. No truth to the rumor that it might have also gotten a few women pregnant.
The Wild threw 16 shots on net in the second period. The Blues? Six. Allen had to be wondering when the help was gonna be there.
Third Period -
It's a good thing he can wonder about his help and make saves at the same time. The Blues were awful in the faceoff battle tonight. (The Wild won aboout 58% of the faceoffs while the Blues were just sitting around 41%) They'd lose another faceoff in the Wild offensive zone and it almost cost them. Marco Scandella gets the initial shot in on a one time chance. Mikael Granlund was right there for the rebound, but couldn't get it.
This period seemed like it was dragging forever. The Wild were camping out in the Blues zone. It didn't look like it was going to get any better either. Maybe the Blues were just letting the Wild tire themselves out and then they'd pounce? That's what it seemed like anyway. Not that Allen needed the help, but you can give Zach Parise credit for keeping the game 1-0. Jake Allen made the initial save, but the puck ricocheted around the ice. As it was about to cross the goaline Parise actually pushed the puck out of the crease area.
Speaking of Parise he scored the game tying goal with 23 seconds to go in the third. The Blues almost survived the onslaught.
The Blues were able to put a little more pressure on in the OT frame. However, the Wild were just as good in OT as they were in regulation. I'll let you guess as to who was also good in OT.
Despite the Blues giving up 51 shots on goal, giving up the game tying goal with 23 seconds left...They somehow still won the game. Joel Edmundson scored the game winner after Tarasenko lost the puck in front of the net. Tarasenko made some great moves to get where he did at the net. He just lost the puck. Luckily Edmundson was able to move in on the play and find the back of the net for the 2-1 win
The Blues survive getting outshot 52-26. They survive really just a flat out awful offensive effort. Game 2 of the series is Friday night at a normal 7 pm start time.
From The Twitter Machine:
The goal hadn't been an hour old, and then there was this.
From the hard working staff at the No Shit department
Oh Vladdy. (Yes he also made statements about how they needed to play better, but those aren't as good.)
Tarasenko was laughing but ... "we need to work a little on celebrations though." #stlblues— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) April 13, 2017
Player of the Game:
Jake Allen. Since he somehow didn't get the first star tonight. No, seriously. It was Edmundson.