Blues open 2-0 lead over Wild
SAINT PAUL, Minn.—Jaden Schwartz scored late in the third period as the St. Louis Blues took a commanding lead in their opening-round playoff series, beating the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Friday night.
With 2:27 left in a tight game, Schwartz zipped a rising shot through traffic into the upper right corner of the net.
Joel Edmundson scored in the second period and goalie Jake Allen made 23 saves for the Blues, who take a 2-0 lead in the series back to St. Louis.
For the second game in a row, the Wild got a goal from Zach Parise and no other offense. They were again frustrated by a determined Blues defensive corps, which has kept Minnesota's forwards to the outside and limited chances in front of Allen.
Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk took the loss with 20 saves.
Each team had a power play in the scoreless first period. Minnesota emerged with a 9-5 lead in shots, but the Blues again limited the Wild's access to the front of their net.
The Blues took the lead early in the second via Edmundson's second goal of the series.
With a delayed penalty coming up on the Wild, Patrik Berglund got the puck and fed Edmundson, who was parked on the blue line. Dubnyk appeared to have a clear look at Edmundson's fluttering shot, but the puck eluded the goalie's glove to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. It was just the third playoff goal in 18 games for Edmundson.
With frustration mounting, Minnesota got a break in the form of back-to-back penalties on St. Louis, which gave the Wild 85 seconds of a five-on-three power play.
Eric Staal's pass in front of the net was blocked by a defender, but when Blues center Kyle Brodziak tried to clear the loose puck, it landed on Parise's stick. He popped a high shot into the upper webbing of the net for his second goal of the series.
The most concerning moment for Minnesota came in the final seconds of the period when left winger Erik Haula was cross-checked by Blues left winger Scottie Upshall and went headfirst into the side boards.
Haula struggled to get off the ice and went right to the dressing room as boos rained down on Upshall and the officials. There was no penalty called and Haula returned to play in the third period.
Game 3 of the series is Sunday afternoon in St. Louis.
NOTES: Four Minnesotans—Hannah Brandt, Kelly Pannek, Lee Stecklein and Maddy Rooney—who were members of the gold medal-winning American team at last week's Women's World Ice Hockey Championships in Michigan were introduced to a standing ovation before the game. ... Blues RW Zach Sanford made his career playoff debut, skating on the team's third line. The rookie played in 39 regular-season games, scoring four goals. Sanford was in the lineup after the Blues scratched C Jori Lehtera. ... It was the seventh career playoff goal for Jaden Schwartz in his 40th career playoff game.