(SportsNetwork.com) – The Minnesota Wild will try to turn the tide in their
rivalry with the St. Louis Blues when the Central Division foes battle
Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center.
Tonight’s tilt in St. Paul marks the first of four meetings in 2014-15 between
Minnesota and St. Louis. The Wild ended a nine-game skid in this series when
they posted a 4-2 home win on April 10 of last season. Minnesota had
dropped four straight on home ice against the Blues before that victory.
The Wild haven’t record consecutive wins in the series with St. Louis since
taking three straight encounters over the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.
Both Minnesota and the Blues are coming off wins on Friday night. The Wild
posted a 5-4 overtime victory in Dallas and St. Louis recorded an OT win of
its own against visiting Edmonton.
The Blues trailed the Oilers 3-2 in the third period, but Alex Pietrangelo
was able to send the game to overtime by scoring with 7:35 left in regulation.
Vladimir Tarasenko then tallied 4:20 into overtime to lift St. Louis to the
4-3 win, the third victory in four games for the Blues.
St. Louis could not convert a power play opportunity in overtime, but it still
managed to beat Edmonton for the 12th time in the last 14 meetings. Tarasenko
puck-handled around Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz to create his own
shooting lane, and his shot beat Ben Scrivens. It was the 13th tally of the
season for Tarasenko, who is leading the Blues in both goals and points (25).
“I think everyone stood up before he even shot it, and I already figured it
was going in,” said Oshie on the winning goal. “It’s fun watching that kid
shoot the puck. He can’t do it enough.”
Oshie had three points, and Jake Allen won despite making only 13 saves on 16
With No. 1 goaltender Brian Elliott on injured reserve with a knee injury,
Allen will start again on Saturday. The 24-year-old has never faced the Wild.
Minnesota won for the sixth time in eight tilts on Friday with the OT win over
Dallas. It wasn’t pretty, however, as the Wild coughed up an early three-goal
lead before rallying for the 5-4 decision.
The Wild led 3-0 after Mikael Granlund’s goal at 11:47 of the second period,
but Dallas scored four unanswered to take the lead. Thomas Vanek would get the
equalizer for Minnesota, recording his second goal of the season with just
1:52 remaining in regulation.
Marco Scandella then scored the winner 2:04 into overtime. Vanek rushed the
puck in down the left wing and from the point he passed it over to the right
wing for Zach Parise, who one-touched it to the low left side where Scandella
tapped it in for the win.
“It’s an awesome feeling, especially the roller coaster style of game that it
was tonight,” Scandella said.
Nino Niederreiter also scored for the Wild and Darcy Kuemper made 41 saves in
Niklas Backstrom is expected to start in net tonight. The veteran owns a 6-9-1
record and 2.81 goals against average in 16 career games versus the Blues.