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Wild give up first goal, then rout Blues, 6-2

Sarah McLellan, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Hockey

Winger Daniel Winnik threw the puck to the front of the net from the corner, and winger Marcus Foligno was there to whack it by Blues goalie Carter Hutton.

Soon after, the Wild went on the power play and capitalized.

Captain Mikko Koivu cut to the middle and used a rising backhander to beat Hutton with 1:53 remaining in the first. It was Koivu's first goal in 12 games, and the unit converted for the ninth time in the last nine games.

The Wild tacked on another insurance marker in the second; goalie Jake Allen, who replaced Hutton after a five-save showing in the first, came out of his crease to direct the puck into the boards while winger Jason Zucker pursued it.

But winger Mikael Granlund gobbled up the loose puck and passed it off to Zucker, who lifted a backhand over Allen at 9:45 for his 22nd goal -- which tied center Eric Staal for the team lead and also matched the career-high Zucker established last season.

Before the period adjourned, the Wild recorded a fifth -- a shot from defenseman Matt Dumba that squeaked through Allen's five hole at 16:19. Allen ended up with eight saves. Zucker assisted on the goal, as did Koivu, and those two, along with Granlund, each finished with two points apiece.

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So did center Eric Staal, who set up a sixth goal on the power play when his shot was deflected in front by winger Zach Parise at 5:05 of the third period. The Wild finished 2 for 3 with the man advantage, while the Blues were 0 for 3.

St. Louis did score once more, with 7:24 to go after winger Dmitrij Jaskin put in a loose puck that initially hit defenseman Nate Prosser en route to the net. Prosser had to be helped off, and the Wild finished the game with only four defensemen; Jonas Brodin left in the second after getting pinned along the boards by winger Vladimir Sobotka.

(c)2018 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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