Wild edge Blues
MINNEAPOLIS (TSX) — Kyle Brodziak recorded his 11th career two-goal performance and John Curry made 43 saves in his season debut as host Minnesota snapped a nine-game winless skid versus St. Louis.
Nino Niederreiter and Matt Moulson also tallied and Matt Cooke notched two assists for the Wild, who improved to 6-0-1 in their last seven contests. Defenseman Christian Folin set up a goal and finished with a plus-3 rating in his NHL debut.
Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored on a 5-on-3 advantage and Jaden Schwartz netted a short-handed goal for the Blues, who saw T.J. Oshie exit the contest after a brutal hit from Mike Rupp. The latter was handed a 10-minute match penalty for deliberate injury.
Brian Elliott made two saves in relief of Ryan Miller, who yielded four goals on 13 shots as St. Louis dropped a season-high fourth in a row to see their lead in the Central Division over second-place Colorado remain at two points. The Avalanche visit Vancouver later on Thursday.
After the teams traded short-handed goals, Moulson deposited a cross-crease pass from Dany Heatley past Miller to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead with 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the second period. Brodziak, who snapped a 17-game goalless drought earlier in the session, scored 58 seconds into the third with a sharp-angle shot from along the goal line.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Rupp, who was playing in his first game since Feb. 1, flattened Oshie with an elbow to the head midway through the second period. The United States Olympian remained on the ice for several moments as play continued and did not return to the contest. ... Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu played in his 600th game. ... The Wild failed to convert on all four power-play opportunities and are 0-for-27 in the last seven meetings with the Blues. ... St. Louis' previous loss to Minnesota was a 3-2 shootout defeat on Nov. 19, 2011.