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Joel Edmundson big reason Blues lead 2-0

Stay-at-home defenseman scores goal in each of first two games against Wild

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Joel Edmundson is not the first player the St. Louis Blues look to for offense from the blue line.

At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, the Blues look for Edmundson to be a stay-at-home defenseman with a physical edge to his game.

But in the Western Conference First Round against the Minnesota Wild, Edmundson has provided the Blues with half of their goals, scoring in consecutive games for the first time as a pro, including a 2-1 victory in Game 2 at Xcel Energy Center on Friday. After scoring 17:48 into overtime in Game 1, he gave the Blues a 1-0 lead in Game 2 with a one-timer from the point.


[RELATED: Complete Blues vs. Wild series coverage]


Edmundson, who had three goals in 69 regular-season games and six in 153 regular-season and Stanley Cup Playoff games to begin his NHL career, has made his mark in surprising fashion to help the Blues take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Edmundson was asked if he can remember scoring in back-to-back games, and even he had to think.

"At any level? Maybe back in Peewee when I was a forward or something like that, but no, not in the pro level, no," Edmundson said. "It was a delayed penalty so that kind of opened up the zone for us. Me and [Patrik Berglund] played some catch with it up top, fed me the onesie and there's bodies all over the place in front of the net. I just tried to hit the net and luckily it went in."

Edmundson is partnered with Colton Parayko (6-foot-6, 226 pounds) to give St. Louis a formidable 3-4 pair. Each is 23 years old.

"I think he was just saving it all for the playoffs," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said of Edmundson. "He didn't want to max out too early.

"He's got a [heckuva] shot. We've told him that all year: Shoot the puck. When you get guys in front of the net, it's hard to save the puck when you can't see it."

Blues forward Jaden Schwartz, who scored the game-winning goal Friday, agreed.

Video: STL@MIN, Gm2: Edmundson wires a one-timer past Dubnyk

"He's got a great shot," Schwartz said. "If we can get traffic to the net and he can find a way to get it through, there's a good chance of it going in. That's what playoffs is all about. You need guys stepping up every night, and this is the best time of the year. He's done a great job for us, and it's a big reason why we're up 2-0 going home."

Edmundson and the Blues have held the Wild to two goals in the series, the first at 6-on-5 in Game 1 and the other on a two-man advantage Friday.

It's nice to chip in offensively, but Edmundson was proudest the Blues limited the Wild to 24 shots in Game 2 after allowing 52 in Game 1.

"For sure. It was 20-some shots for them," Edmundson said. "We know we still have a couple more notches to our game. We weren't overly pleased with tonight, but I mean we did enough to get the win and hopefully we can elevate our game a couple more notches in St. Louis."

Game 3 is at Scottrade Center on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

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