The Minnesota Wild coming off a 4-3 loss in Dallas last night would look to shake that loss away against a very tough opponent in the St. Louis Blues. Tonight would also be the first start for newly acquired netminder Ilya Bryzgalov for the Wild. The Wild played a pretty good game overall and would get a point out of the Blues but would fall short of the 2nd point in the shootout.
The first period kicked off with a Steve Ott not taking kindly to Kyle Brodziak and his physicality, so why not drop the gloves 2 minutes into the game? The game had barely started but both of them decided they'd rather sit for 5 minutes than play hockey. Just 47 seconds after the fight, Jason Pominville would be whistled for interference, giving the Blues their first power play of the night, and it would prove beneficial for St. Louis.
T.J. Oshie would find the back of the net at the 3:37 mark of the first period, a power play wrister from Alexander Steen and Kevin Shattenkirk. Not the bright start the Wild were looking for, despite some decent play to kick off the game.
Brenden Morrow would round out the first period penalties when he drew an interference call against Charlie Coyle at the 3:57 mark of the first. The power play for the Wild would not prove as beneficial as it did for the Blues.
At the 8:30 mark into the first Carlo Colaiacovo would find pay dirt after the Wild gave up the puck behind their net. Vladimir Tarasenko would provide the pressure behind Bryzgalov and kick the puck out front. It would bounce around, going off a few players including Jaden Schwartz before Colaiacovo would get a gift puck wide open in the slot.
The second period would start off and the Wild looked like a new team. They were pressuring, they were moving their feet and they would be rewarded. Just 3:11 into the second period Jason Pominville would get a pass from Zach Parise who was falling down in the slot and still managed to shuffle the puck off to the wall and the awaiting Pominville. Pominville would snap one past Blues goalie Brian Elliott.
The Wild would continue to put the pressure on the Blues and would be rewarded again at the 7:03 mark of the period. Matt Moulson would get his first goal in a Minnesota Wild jersey and his 18th on the season as he tipped in a nice pass from Wild captain Mikko Koivu who was battling along the wall. Moulson would be sitting at the back door and tip the puck into a wide open net.
Minnesota would dominate the period but would be unable to gain the go ahead goal as their power play continued to struggle. Colaiacovo would get a 2 minute break at the 13:25 mark of the period on a tripping call against Koivu, but the Wild would not be able to convert with the extra man.
The third period would find pretty even play with both sides getting their chances to go ahead on the score board. The best chance coming off the stick of Wild forward Mikael Granlund as he attempted to tap in a rebound to a wide-open net. Elliott would miraculously get the paddle of his stick on the puck just enough to deflect it across the front of the goal.
The period would end without a a goal and the 2 teams would play through an overtime session. Overtime was a back and forth affair. Both squads were skating hard and getting their chances. Credit to both netminders for keeping the puck out of the net in the extra session.
The shootout did not go well for your Minnesota Wild. Only 2 shooters would be needed for the Wild as both Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu would miss on their attempts. US Olympic shootout darling T.J. Oshie would beat Bryzgalov over his glove side and Alexander Steen would wrist one past off his leg but it would find the top of the goal and the shootout was over in 2 rounds. Really is too bad for Wild fans, Matt Moulson was slated to take the shot in the 3rd round of the shootout.
This was a great game of hockey, and it's too bad the Wild were not able to get the desired outcome. The second period was especially good for the Wild and it is a testament to how good the Blues are that the Wild were not able to score more throughout the period and the game. Bryzgalov did look a little lost at times but he had a pretty good evening if you ignore the shootout.
Next up for the Wild, the Edmonton Oilers come to town. A Tuesday night affair at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and Bryzgalov will at least get another chance to say goodbye to anyone he may have missed on his way out of Edmonton.