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game recap

Wild shut out Blues in Game 4, avoid elimination

Devan Dubnyk makes 28 saves, Charlie Coyle, Martin Hanzal score

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves for the second Stanley Cup Playoff shutout of his career, and the Minnesota Wild avoided elimination with a 2-0 victory against the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round at Scottrade Center on Wednesday.

"We just said coming into this game, we need to win one game and this is the only thing that matters is this one game," Dubnyk said. "This was our Stanley Cup. And that's gonna be the same thing on Saturday, because if not, it's over, and we're not gonna think any further ahead than that. It's gonna be the exact same approach on Saturday, and we'll see where the score is when the buzzer ends and move forward."

Charlie Coyle and Martin Hanzal scored for the Wild, who had three goals in the first three games of the series.

The Blues lead the best-of-7 series 3-1 with Game 5 at Minnesota on Saturday.

 

[WATCH: All Wild vs. Blues highlights | RELATED: Complete Minnesota vs. St. Louis series coverage]

 


"With the two days off, I thought they handled it well among themselves," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They didn't let themselves get down. They faced some bad times in the last six weeks and they didn't get themselves down. [Heck], it's only one game. They still have a tremendous advantage up three games to one. I think we can play a lot better still than we played tonight. It's going to still be an uphill battle."

Blues goalie Jake Allen made 26 saves.

"It took a little bit for us to get going," Allen said. "They obviously came out hard and played a really good 40 minutes, they played a pretty solid defensive third period. We had a really good push in the third, and it was a little too late."

Coyle made it 1-0 after picking off Allen's pass around the boards and shooting it into an empty net at 16:50 of the first period. It gave the Wild their first lead 214:38 into the series.

Video: MIN@STL, Gm4: Coyle capitalizes off a turnover

The Blues thought the play was going to be whistled down for icing. Allen and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo were there near the puck, and when Allen whipped it from behind his net off the side boards, Coyle intercepted it.

"It was one bounce. We're happy to get it," Boudreau said. "They did what they were asked to do on that play. We got a break and we hadn't had too many breaks in the first three games. We'll take any break we can get." 

Hanzal scored to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead at 16:41 of the second period.

The goal came after the Blues, who were outshot 11-4 in the first period, came with some of their biggest charges towards the Wild net.

"We started turning it a little bit, but again, details of our game that cost us that one," St. Louis forward Alexander Steen said. "Again, I think throughout the course of the game we were just a second off. We needed to be a little quicker, a little sharper to create the havoc and earn those goals."

 

Goal of the game

Nate Prosser passed out of the Wild zone to Pominville for a quick lay-off pass at the red line for Hanzal, who built up a burst of speed through the neutral zone. Hanzal gained the blue line, and with Blues defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester laying back, Hanzal snapped a shot past Allen's blocker from above the faceoff circles. "It was good because it was the first time we've played with a lead," Hanzal said. "It makes them have to make an effort to push back."

Video: MIN@STL, Gm4: Hanzal beats Allen with wicked snipe

 

Save of the game

Dubnyk, who had faced 16 shots entering the third period, made a save on Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson's shot from the left circle on a rush with 16:45 remaining in the game. "You've just got to try to stay sharp, try to get some puck handles in if you can, and don't force it," Dubnyk said.

Video: MIN@STL, Gm4: Dubnyk shuts out Blues to avoid sweep

 

Highlight of the game

Despite a rare mistake in the series leading to the first Wild goal, Allen did his best to keep the Blues in the game. Following a Pietrangelo turnover, he made a left-pad save on Nino Niederreiter's shot from the left circle while sliding from his left to right at 7:34 of the second period.

Video: MIN@STL, Gm4: Allen makes a nice pad save on takeaway

 
Unsung performance of the game

Defenseman Marco Scandella had four of the Wild's 28 hits, three shots on goal and three blocked shots in 24:22 of ice time, second-most on Minnesota behind Ryan Suter (25:22).

 

They said it

"We worked hard. We did what we had to do to win. It wasn't always the prettiest of hockey. Again, we did what we set out to do, which was come here and get one. That was the first step." -- Wild right wing Zach Parise

 

"We just came out slow. I thought we were a little casual to start the game, and you know they were taking advantage of it there in the first (period), but we got the pressure on there in the third." -- Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo

 

Need to know

Wild forward Joel Eriksson Ek replaced injured center Erik Haula (upper body) in the Wild lineup. Haula was minus-2 with five shots on goal the first three games of the series. ... The Blues are 2-4 in closeout games the past two seasons.

 

What's next

Game 5 of Western Conference First Round at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports)

 

Video: Dubnyk shuts out Blues as Wild avoid elimination

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