Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild Steal Two Points From St. Louis Blues


99. 3. 98. Final. 1

For the first time since 2007, the Minnesota Wild walked out of the Scottrade Center with a regulation win over the St. Louis Blues. Devan Dubnyk made 41 saves in the victory.

Good Morning, Minnesota Wild fans. After completely outplaying the Anaheim Ducks and losing Friday night, the Wild was outshot 42-19 in St. Louis tonight and came away with a 3-1 victory. Devan Dubnyk gave the bigger, stronger, Blues fits with his best performance yet. Thomas Vanek, Nino Niederreiter, and Kyle Brodziak all scored for the Wild.

First Period:

I thought the Wild played pretty well in the first. It’s pretty easy to see that the Blues are comfortable pushing the Wild around to generate chances. Rather than try to increase its physicality, the Wild did well to force chances and skaters outside and along the boards.
Patrik Berglund looked to score early in the first period but the play was reviewed by the on ice officials due to a high stick. The on ice crew actually confirmed the goal, but here’s the thing; the puck NEVER WENT IN THE NET. Luckily, Toronto’s NHL situation room caught the error and waved the goal off.

Nate Prosser get leveled by a Jori Lehtera hip check along the boards. He left the game in the second period and did not return.

The Blues earned the first power play, but the Wild’s PK unit held them without a shot on goal and Justin Fontaine had a shorthanded bid. Paul Stasny nullified the last 30-ish  seconds of the power play with a hi-sticking penalty. The Wild moved Mathew Dumba to the top unit in place of Thomas Vanek, which I like. It didn’t pay off for the Wild immediately, but I think it’ll pay dividends in the long run.

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Vladimir Tarasenko

, who leads the Western conference in goals, probably had the best chances for the Blues, but was denied by Dubnyk. I think Tarasenko is going to have nightmares about Dubnyk for a couple of days.

Shots after one period: Minnesota Wild 5, St. Louis Blues 11

Second period:

Mikko Koivu tripped up T.J. Oshie in the 2nd minute, sending St. Louis to the power play. The Wild managed to kill the penalty; however, they were under aggressive on the puck and the Blues capitalized to open the scoring.

Alexander Steen, who spent nearly the entire power play on the ice, beat Ryan Suter at the blue line and sent a one-timer on goal that David Backes tipped over the shoulder of Dubnyk to make it 1-0 Blues at 04:57 of the second period.

13 seconds after Backes’ goal, Zach Parise looked to score the equalizer off a Jared Spurgeon rebound. The goal light came on, but the referees initiated a video review. After a lengthy review, the goal was waved off as Parise could be seen kicking the puck in, so the goal was waved off. Obviously, the kicking motion wasn’t intentional, but rules are rules. The Situation Room gives and the Situation Room takes away.

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  • Parise’s disallowed goal didn’t matter, because Thomas Vanek tied the game. After a bit of zone pressure,

    Charlie Coyle


    Justin Fontaine

    behind the net and Fontaine buzzed around the back of the St. Louis net and put a pass right on to the stick of Vanek. From there, Vanek fired a lighting fast wrister that beat

    Brian Elliott

    high on the glove side to make it a

    1-1 tie at 05:43 of the second period.

    St. Louis pressed hard for the remainder of the period, with the exception of a Wild power play. There was also a two-minute stint of 4-on-4 where the Wild never exited the defensive zone. Take a look at the shot count below. The Blues registered 21 shots on goal in 20 minutes, more than the Wild put on goal all game. Dubnyk stopped 20. That’s pretty impressive.

    Shots on goal after two periods: Minnesota Wild 10, St. Louis Blues 32

    Third Period:

    I gotta say, the Wild stuck with its game plan, and after registering 5 shots on goal in each of the first two periods, put 5 shots on goal in the first 10 minutes of the 3rd. All four lines seemed to click.

    Finally, 13 minutes in, Nino Niederreiter put the Wild ahead for the first time all night. Spurgeon, who would’ve grabbed the primary assist on Parise’s disallowed goal, put a shot on goal that Koivu deflected underneath Elliott. Elliott thought he had the puck stopped but it bounced behind him. Niederreiter was the first skater to the puck and he swept it in to the net to make it

    2-1 Wild at 13:27 of the third period.

    17 seconds later, Kyle Brodziak scored and left Wild writers everywhere scrambling to re-write their blogs. Tarasenko coughed up the puck in front of the Blues’ net, Brodziak snagged it and put home a wrister to make it 3-1 Wild at 13:44 of the third period.

    St. Louis pressed Devan Dubnyk and the Wild endlessly for the equalizer, including about 2 minutes with an empty net, but Dubnyk stood tall and stopped everything the Blues threw at him. Game over, Wild win 3-1.

    Final shots on goal: Minnesota Wild 19, St. Louis Blues 42

    Trembley’s Take:

    A team that gets outshot by a 2-to-1 margin rarely wins. The Wild didn’t have a single skater with a positive Corsi-for percentage. Devan Dubnyk unequivocally stole this game for the Wild.

    Nino Niederreiter now leads the Wild with 5 game winning goals. He’s also at 22 goals on the season, a career high. I think he’ll hit 30 this season, especially with his increased ice time.

    The Wild may have figured out a way to beat the Blues. Forcing play outside without a ton of physical presence is brilliant. I still think the Blues may be the worst possible outcome in a playoff scenario, but I think the Wild played a pretty good game.

    Talk to you Tuesday, when the Wild take on the Predators. Thanks for reading!!

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