Blues take 2-0 series lead with 2-1 win over Wild

Jake Allen is doing his best to prove his coach wrong.

The Minnesota Wild lost 2-1 to the St. Louis Blues in game 2 of their first round playoff match-up.

"He's been unbelievable, a big reason why we got these three wins, and it gives us a lot of confidence", Schwartz said of Allen.

"I mean, we want to do the right things", Boudreau said. That, however, might go down as the only 5 on 5 goal of the series for the Wild, who were the best 5 on 5 team in the National Hockey League throughout the regular season. "We got some unfortunate bounces there a couple times". "If I ask my goaltender just to give up two goals a game, we're going to succeed. He played well. I think if we continue to do what we do, get around that net, play the way we can, we're going to get something, for sure". It was his third career playoff goal and his first goal this season since February 2.

St. Louis outshot Minnesota 15-9 in the first period, but couldn't build on its early lead. Vladimir Sobotka, who recently was signed after spending three years in Russian Federation, recorded the other goal for the Blues and leading scorer Vladimir Tarasenko was quiet much of the night before helping set up the victor.

Game 2 of their quarterfinal series against the Minnesota Wild started much like Game 1 did - with the Blues seemingly on their heels, allowing the opposition to hem them into their defensive zone for long stretches of time.

The Blues have shut down Minnesota's offense - or at least every player not named Zach Parise, who scored the goal that sent game one into overtime and who scored the Wild's lone goal on Friday. Joel Edmundson (shockingly) posted his second goal of the series and Jaden Schwartz notched the go-ahead tally in the waning moments of the third period.

Atkinson got his second goal at 5:02 of the first when he picked Sidney Crosby's pocket at the right circle and beat Fleury with a backhand.

Pekka Rinne was great again. They needed to keep the throttle down, or in the now-famous words of Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong, "when you have a team down 2-0, you need to take the knife and jam it through their eye into their brain and kill them".

All the Corsi in the world doesn't matter when you're forced to take low-percentage shots, and that's what the Wild have been settling for in this first-round series.

Nino Niederreiter only had one shot on goal in the Wild's Game 1 loss. It was his sixth career playoff goal for Coyle.

Game 4 is Tuesday night.

Said Dubnyk: "We just need to get the next one". But it was more of the same for the Blackhawks, who once again looked out of sync against the Predators' active defense. "That wasn't fun to watch". "I know that they're not going to go away lightly. Not too many positives come out of tonight's game". It has dropped six in a row dating to the end of the regular season.

Trailing 3-2 in the third period, the Canadiens pressed hard and finally scored with 18 seconds left, with goalie Carey Price pulled for an extra attacker.

"Minnesota but right now, it's just not working". "Obviously everybody's trying to score that goal".

"I don't think they were, "Oh, woe is me"-type thing. Right now we're going to go on the road and we'll be ready for Game 3". They also controlled much of Game 1, outshooting the Predators 29-20, albeit with numerous attempts coming from outside.

The Blues will try to complete the sweep in Game 4 on Wednesday night.

Consider: Teams that fall behind 0-2 in a best-of-seven series win the series a mere 12.7 percent of the time (49 out of 385), while teams that manage to tie at 1-1, win 52.1 percent of the time (161 out of 309).

The Predators added two more in the second. Head coach Mike Yeo counted on his forward depth eventually punching through in Game 2 like it did in Game 1, and it worked. Sissons then knocked in his own rebound with 7 minutes left. With the traffic, Schwartz is able to wrist the shot past Dubnyk for the game winning goal.

"It was good to get a balance", Laviolette said.

Game 2 was feistier and uglier than Game 1, though the same late-game drama stayed intact.



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