The Wild were playing on the second night of a back-to-back and it really showed early on. Dubnyk made an early case for the "Pivotal Moment" with this fantastic effort on a harmless David Backes shot:
This goal was significant in setting the tone for the game as we saw the Blues go on a tear where they were hitting anything that moved. On top of the hits, the Blues were playing a fast game and the Wild stuggled to make even the shortest of passes. Naturally, the Blues managed to take a 2-0 lead.
Fortunately, scoring back-to-back goals is just what this years Wild team does. Zucker made a great individual effort to put the Wild on the board, and also to stick it to Carl Gunnarsson for driving his head into the ice earlier in the shift. Bad Carl. Late in the period a solid passing play from Vanek to Haula evened the score and we all forgot about the awful goal Dubnyk gave up to start things off.
The second period featured little in the way of action, but we were treated to some of the most pathetic 5-on-3 hockey we've ever seen. The vaunted Wild power-play lost an offensive zone face-off (the Cardinal sin of 5-on-3's) and then twice failed to control the puck into the zone. It was some scary-bad hockey.
Ugly hockey abounded in the third as both teams sat back for the most part in order to ensure their share of a loser point. Both goalies made a couple big saves late to send the game to stupid, terrible, 3-on-3 overtime, and Dustin Byfuglien turned off off his TV to go grab a cookie.
The Blues controlled the puck for the majority of the first shift of overtime, but after a scramble in front of Dubnyk, Granlund and Parise broke away on a 2-on-1. Granlund carried the puck in, made a great play to delay around a sprawling Pietrangelo and was left all alone in basically the most dangerous scoring position on the ice. And here is where we are gifted our "Pivotal Moment":
Granlund even had Allen thinking pass on this shot as he ended up sliding to his right, but still Granlund ripped his shot into Allen's arm. It was only fitting that a few minutes later Backes won the game on just as wide open of a shot from about five feet further back at the other end.