ST. PAUL, Minn. – Kirill Kaprizov scored to replenish his NHL rookie lead, Cam Talbot made 37 saves for his second shutout of the season and that Minnesota Wild hit the St. Louis blues 2-0 on Thursday evening to expand the winning streak in the franchise record to 11 games.
Marcus Johansson also scored for Wild, who improved from 37: 11 to 13: 3 in the Xcel Energy Center despite an outshot. Talbot is 7-0 at home in his first season at Minnesota, with nine goals allowed.
“He just choked everything, swallowed everything. He was so good, “said Wild coach Dean Evason. “Yes, we didn’t have much possession of the puck. They did. You are really good. But we stayed there. We were there because our goalkeeper gave us the opportunity to be there. ”
The Wild are 15-4-1 with four exclusions in their last 20 games. During their home series, they have a goal advantage of 35-14. The Blues are 2-4-3 in their last nine games.
“I’m not going to play on the two goals against Harp,” said coach Craig Berube. “If we play hockey like that, we’ll win a lot of hockey games.”
Blues goalkeeper Jordan Binnington took his first loss to the Wild in four career starts. He had only allowed three goals in his first three games.
The Blues had postponed two games here last month due to a virus outbreak in the wild, so this matchup was the first of eight games scheduled over a 38-day period. With a growing gap between the division’s top four teams – Vegas, Colorado, Minnesota, and St. Louis – and the bottom four clubs, those blues-wild games on the track will make up a large portion of the playoffs.
“We find ways to win,” said Johansson. “These two points could mean a lot in the end.”
Johansson scored at 5:46 in the second half after a nifty give-and-go setup from Kevin Fialawho moved the defense to Binnington’s right and sent the puck back over the ice to the 11th year right wing to get a one-timer into an open net.
Then came the highlight goal from Kaprizov, who leads all the newcomers to the league in goals (11), assists (16) and shots (80). In a 1-on-1 onslaught against the Blues defender Torey mugKaprizov used a toe movement to slow down a bit and make Krug believe he could move inward. Then he raced back to send a short, bad angle shot past Binnington and just under the crossbar.
Brayden Schenn on dropping the gloves when the puck fell tonight: “Five goals or five hits or five shots – certainly none of that, but I think I got a five-minute penalty for Bobby. … He was a special man and will be greatly missed. ” #stlblues pic.twitter.com/26p2TLzAiE
– FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) March 26, 2021
On top of his game
Talbot came to Minnesota to try to re-establish himself as the legitimate # 1 goalkeeper, as he did when he shared the net with the freshman Kaapo Kahkonen.
“I’m just trying to reward their trust in me over the summer,” said Talbot, who signed a three-year $ 11 million deal.
The only mishap Talbot had in this case was a puck in the air, which in the second phase got stuck in his face mask and had to be repaired.
“Great rebound control from the mask,” middle Ryan Hartman Deadpanned. “Overall just a great stone.”
The Wild was silent before the game in the mostly empty arena – their first game with ticket sales is in less than two weeks – in honor of former Blues defender Bobby Plager. Plager, one of the franchise’s original players, died in a car accident on Wednesday.
center Brayden Schenn asked Hartman to fight right after the opening game, a move that should give the ailing blues a boost. They received the mandatory main sentences.
“I think I have five for Bobby tonight,” said Schenn. “It was obviously a tough couple of days in the Blues organization with the news and the way he touched the players.”
Johansson has scored three goals in 13 games for the Wild in his first season. He missed more than a month with an unspecified upper body injury before returning to the lineup on Monday. … The Wild went 0-3 on their NHL worst power play and fell below 10% (10-103) during the season. … Fierce defender Matt Dumba (lower body) returned from a three-game injury.
Blues: Return home on Friday and Sunday to face Anaheim.
Wild: Start a four game road trip in San Jose on Monday with another game on Wednesday.