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Brad Boyes scores twice for Blues in 2-1 win over Minnesota

NHL.com @NHL

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Brad Boyes scored twice and backup goaltender Chris Mason made a season-high 31 saves to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

Stephane Veilleux scored for the offensively challenged Wild, who have an NHL-low 28 goals in the 15 games since a 6-2 win over Florida on Oct. 16.

Niklas Backstrom made 24 saves but once again it wasn't enough for the Wild, who went 0-for-5 on the power play.

Minnesota had a chance to tie it in the final 1:12 when David Backes was given a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for boarding Brent Burns behind the net.

But Mason steeled himself against a 6-on-4 advantage when the Wild pulled Backstrom, and St. Louis escaped in regulation after allowing a goal with 0.9 seconds on the clock in Friday night's win over Anaheim that pushed the game to overtime.

The Wild controlled the first 10 minutes of the game, spending most of that time in the St. Louis zone putting pressure on Mason, who was 0-5 with a 3.13 goals-against average coming into the night.

But after that initial push, it was Minnesota that looked like the team that was playing the second game of a back-to-back, not St. Louis.

The easiest solution to Minnesota's offensive deficiencies will be the return of star winger Marian Gaborik, but no one knows when that will happen. Gaborik missed his 16th straight game with a lower body injury, but the Blues know a thing or two about dealing with injuries.

Forwards Dan Hinote, Paul Kariya, T.J. Oshie and Andy McDonald are all on injured reserve, as is defenceman Eric Johnson, who will miss the year with a knee injury.

That certainly hasn't helped them this season, but the last-place team in the Central Division has shown some plucky resilience of late.

Veilleux opened the scoring in the second period with the first goal by a Wild player other than captain Mikko Koivu in a span of 170 minutes six seconds of play. That's nearly three full games.

It was also the first even-strength goal by a Wild forward other than Koivu since Andrew Brunette scored on Nov. 6 at Colorado more than six games ago.

Boyes came right back with a rebound goal 44 seconds later. He added a power-play goal later in the period after splitting Marek Zidlicky and James Sheppard with a nifty cut. His wrister hit the back of the net before Backstrom even had a chance to get a glove up, giving St. Louis a 2-1 lead.

Notes: Lee Stempniak assisted on the Blues' second goal, giving him 12 points in his last eight games. ... Adding to the St. Louis injury woes, C Patrik Berglund was out with a groin injury. ... The Wild were 11-2-1 in their previous 14 games against the Blues.

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