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Blues at Wild Preview: Scandella, Parakyo look to shut down Minnesota

Will the Blues new, effective defensive pairing take care of the Wild (s)?

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Blues, along with the rest of the NHL, have hit that part of the schedule where literally every single game matters. The Blues banked a ton of points at the start of the season to bolster their first in the Central status, then squandered a good chunk of those with a streak where they could barely buy a win.

Now, frustratingly, after three solid wins in a row, the Blues are only one point above Colorado for the division lead. Weren’t they just four above Dallas the other night?

How quickly things change.

How quickly things have changed for the Wild since the last time the Blues saw them. They fired head coach Bruce Boudreau last week - a firing that flew under the radar. Usually canning your head coach garners you attention, but since the Wild’ve been so average this year, in a division that has quickly turned into a three-horse race, few people batted an eye. They replaced him with Dean Evason, who has possibly helped turn the tides. The Wild are 2-1 under their new coach and have a two game winning streak going heading into tonight’s game.

The Blues, during their three-game win streak, have allowed only one goal and 20 or fewer shots on net in each of their victories. For those of you who were wondering how they were going to bounce back from their stretch of 3+ goals allowed in a game and shaky defense, there you go.

Colton Parakyo and Marco Scandella, in the absence of Alex Pietrangelo, were the pairing to watch today. Friday night they carried the defensive weight of the team. Parayko added some offense to the scoresheet as well, scoring a goal and adding two assists in the Blues’ 5-1 rout of the Dallas Stars.

The Blues haven’t lost to Minnesota yet this season. Why start now?