Boudreau isn't convinced Wild are under Allen's armor
ST. PAUL—Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk has been outstanding in the Western Conference quarterfinals. Blues goaltender Jake Allen has been a little better.
Well, at least until Game 4.
In a flip of the script that will go down as the turning point if the Wild somehow complete a miraculous comeback after trailing 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, Dubnyk outplayed Allen as the Wild earned a 2-0 win over the Blues on Wednesday night at Scottrade Center.
Dubnyk finished with 28 saves in his second career postseason shutout; Allen allowed more than one goal for the first time in the series.
Does that mean the Wild have finally gotten underneath Allen's armor?
"No," coach Bruce Boudreau snapped. "He's got a 1.17 goals-against average. I don't think we're under any armor whatsoever."
The way this series has gone, it appears they will complete the comeback only if Dubnyk outplays his counterpart. No matter how good Allen is the rest of the way, Dubnyk has to be better.
"That's what we need from him every night if we're going to turn this thing around," veteran center Martin Hanzal said after Game 4. "He has to be our best player."
In Game 4, Dubnyk was, and it was apparent from early.
"I felt like the guys did a really good job just allowing me to trust exactly what was going on in front of me, exactly what was open, what wasn't, so that I was able to square up to shots and also hang on to rebounds," Dubnyk said. "Those guys did a heck of a job for me."
In truth, Dubnyk has played well enough to win every game this postseason, as he hasn't allowed more than two goals in game. His 1.42 GAA ranks fourth in the postseason, and his .943 save percentage ranks fifth.
Allen is second in both categories with a 1.17 GAA and .966 save percentage.
As Wild winger Zach Parise put it after Game 4: "It feels like right now it's a race to (two goals)."
That isn't exactly how Dubnyk approaches it.
"Those are things that I don't really think about when I play," he said. "That was a tough game tonight. It was a hard game. It was a close game. And at the end of the game, we look up at the scoreboard and hopefully we're ahead. You can't think of it any other way than that."
Dubnyk leaned on that approach throughout the last month and a half of the season. He hit a rough patch in March, finishing with a 3-8-2 record to go along with a 2.94 GAA and .889 save percentage. But he bounced back with three straight wins to close out the regular season and has continued his solid play in the postseason.
"There's been a lot of criticism in the last six weeks, and he's gotten a lot of it, so to see him stand in there and keep battling like the pro he is was really good," Boudreau said. "(But) we can't sit and rest on our laurels. ... We have to go out and play better again.
"We have to do the same thing on Saturday, because everybody in this room still believes we can do it," Hanzal added. "I believe, too, and if we play like this the rest of the series, we're going do it."