After scoring only one time in each of the first three games on 117 shots on goal, the Minnesota Wild potted two goals on 28 shots to avoid elimination Wednesday night.
Jake Allen, who had been the best goalie in this year’s playoffs thus far, seems to have come back down to earth after making 114 saves on 117 shots (.973 SV%, 1.00 GAA) in the first three games of the St. Louis Blues’ quarterfinal matchup against the Minnesota Wild. Allen, who made an error in playing a puck from behind the net by passing it directly off the side wall to Charlie Coyle, who snapped it into an empty net, looked overwhelmed in many situations throughout the game.
In the second period, Martin Hanzal split two Blues defenders and snapped a wristshot past Allen to take 2-0 lead. Getting chippy down the stretch, more than 60 combined hits lead to extracurricular activity after almost every whistle in the third period, culminating on hit to Zach Parise in the waning moments that seemed unnecessary and drew a very angry response from Wild teammates. However, Minnesota orchestrated a perfect third period, capping a 2-0 shutout win for Devan Dubnyk.
Dubnyk made 28 saves while also stopping the Blues on two power play chances along the way. Minnesota’s defense tightened their grip on the Blues throughout the game, allowing fewer goals in every period (11, 10, 7).
The Wild will host the Blues Saturday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.