After a defensive shootout held both teams scoreless throughout the early part of the first period, the Blues opened up the night’s scoring after forward David Perron snuck his eighth goal of the season past Minnesota’s Cam Talbot. Marco Scandella and Ryan O’Reilly were each credited with assists.
The Wild tied the game just 30 seconds after Perron’s goal after Ryan Hartman set up Kirill Kaprizov for a close goal, marking his 13th goal of the season and his first of 2022.
KIRILL KAPRIZOVVVVVVV WINTER CLASSIC GOAL pic.twitter.com/t4A1Dj0i2p— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) January 2, 2022
After a few missed shots in the closing minutes, both teams took a 1-1 tie into the first intermission.
St. Louis’s offense came out strong in the second as the Blues capitalized on poor defensive play by Minnesota and put up five goals in the period.
Jordan Kyrou netted an unassisted goal in the opening 27 seconds of the frame to put St. Louis up by one. He would also pitch in with four of the remaining five goals in the period.
Vladimir Tarasenko added an insurance goal from the right wing circle at the 11:05 mark thanks in part to Kyrou and Robert Thomas. Then, after Nico Sturm was penalized for slashing O’Reilly, the Blues netted a Power Play goal off the stick of Ivan Barbashev. Kyrou also was credited with an assist on that goal.
Kyrou added another mark with more than three minutes left to play to give the Blues a four-goal advantage.
Minnesota’s Rem Pitlick brought the Wild within three after sneaking in a head-on goal, marking his sixth this season.
REM PITLICK 10,000 IQ GOAL pic.twitter.com/EPM3oLUwlz— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) January 2, 2022
The Blues would add their final goal in the final minute of play after Barbashev set up Torey Krug for his fifth goal of the season.
Hartman would kickstart the Wild’s comeback attempt in the third period after scoring his team-leading 15th goal of the season. Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello were credited with assists on the goal.
RYAN HARTMAN. WHAT A GOAL FROM THE TOP LINE. 6-3 STL. pic.twitter.com/JpTYmeeK9N— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) January 2, 2022
Kevin Fiala added another with more than six minutes remaining in the game, however that would be all the Wild could muster as the Blues’ defense held them in check the rest of the game.
KEVIN FIALAAAAAAA CUTS THE LEAD TO JUST TWO. pic.twitter.com/IEezxw6Shs— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) January 2, 2022
The loss moves Minnesota to 19-10-2 and 40 points on the season, moving them to third in the NHL Central standings. In addition, it pushes their losing streak to five games.
Meanwhile, St. Louis moves into first place and improves to 19-9-5 with 43 points.
Minnesota returns to the ice on January 6 against the Boston Bruins.
Will Brodin be in the lineup?
The trusty-dusty magic eight ball was correct. Brodin was not in the lineup.
How will the past 11 days without games affect the Wild?
While the past 11 days presented a good opportunity for Minnesota to put the losing streak in the rearview mirror, the poor defensive effort in the second period showed that “new year, new me” was not the case for the Wild.
Allowing five goals in a period is never a good thing, but after not playing for so long, it does not spell a bright future for the Wild.
Will the goalies wear beanies over their helmets?
Oh, you know that Talbot did.