The Central Division leading St. Louis Blues were in St. Paul Saturday for showdown as the Wild continue to push themselves into the playoff picture. A season high 19,124 fans showed up for the tense affair.
If it was the kids leading the way in Dallas, it was the old guys stepping up Saturday. With goals from Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu, the Wild were able to secure their first loser point of the season; falling to the Blues in a shootout.
The Wild returned to the team they were in the beginning of the season. They possessed the puck well, out-shot the Blues, and allowed a team to stick around because of the lack of finish.
The first period ended with a scoreless tie, but not for lack of effort by Minnesota. The Wild dominated puck possession and shooting stats all of the first period, but the Blues' starting goaltender Jake Allen was proving tough to beat. There was a lot of back and forth between the teams. Marco Scandella, who inked a brand new 5-year deal today, celebrated by giving T.J. Oshie a little chin music. It was called a two minute minor on the ice, but he may get a call from the league office tomorrow.
In the second period, the intensity picked up as the Blues started getting more chippy. Minnesota came close a couple times, but it was Vladimir Tarasenko that got the scoring started after deking Niklas Backstrom out of his pads. The captain and Minnesota would answer back as Mikko Koivu picked up a puck in the right circle and ripped a wicked wrister top shelf. Then Ryan Carter was cross-checked into the boards by Kevin Shattenkirk which gave the Wild a five minute major power play. Zach Parise, who had himself a real nice game, gave the Wild the lead late in the second with a slap shot from near the blue line.
In the third period, St. Louis started to push back with some offense of its own. Backstrom had been pretty solid until a bad giveaway by Ryan Suter eventually ended up on David Backes' stick and behind Backstrom. Regulation would end in and the two teams would need overtime to decide who gets the extra point.
Overtime was scoreless and on to a shootout. The Wild threw out Parise, Koivu, and Jason Pominville, all of whom were stopped by Allen. The Blues countered with Oshie, Steen, and Tarasenko, all of whom were stopped except Tarasenko. A tough way to end the game, but the Wild did earn its first loser point of the season.