Oshie sinks Wild
T.J. Oshie recorded his first career hat trick and surpassed the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career as host St. Louis posted its ninth consecutive victory over Minnesota.
Jaden Schwartz and Brenden Morrow each netted a power-play goal and Miller turned aside 27 shots for the Blues, who registered their 50th win and maintained a one-point lead over Boston in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy. The Bruins skated to a 3-0 victory over Chicago, which sits eight points behind St. Louis in the Central Division.
Zach Parise scored for the reeling Wild, who have dropped six of their last eight (2-4-2) and lead surging Phoenix by just one point for the first wild-card in the Western Conference. The Coyotes skated to a 3-2 shootout victory over New Jersey on Thursday.
Oshie jumped on a loose puck in the slot and beat Darcy Kuemper (19 saves) to open the scoring 4:43 into the contest. The United States Olympian took advantage of Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon’s turnover at center ice before beating Kuemper between the pads for a short-handed goal with 26 seconds left in the session.
Schwartz gave St. Louis a 3-0 lead at 13:10 of the second period and Oshie capped his milestone night 7:18 into the third as he tipped defenseman Jay Bouwmeester’s shot from the point past Kuemper for his 21st goal.
Morrow tallied 3 1/2 minutes later and Parise answered 26 seconds afterward to spoil Miller’s bid for his 29th career shutout - and first since the 2011-12 season.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Captain David Backes had a hat trick in St. Louis’ 5-3 victory over Toronto on Tuesday. With Oshie repeating the feat, it marked the first time that the Blues recorded back-to-back three-goal efforts since Michal Handzus and Pavol Demitra accomplished the feat in December 2000. ... Minnesota failed on all six of its power-play opportunities and is 0-for-10 in its last two contests. The Wild had scored with the man advantage in each of the prior four games. ... Kuemper lost his fifth straight start after going 6-1-1 in his previous eight.