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game recap

Blues take 3-0 series lead against Wild

Jake Allen makes 40 saves, holds Minnesota to one goal for third straight game

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The chants for Jake Allen were deafening.

It's been that kind of run for the St. Louis Blues goaltender.

For the third time in as many games, Allen was the difference-maker, with 40 saves in a 3-1 win against the Minnesota Wild in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round at Scottrade Center on Sunday.

The Blues lead the best-of-7 series 3-0. Game 4 is here Wednesday.

Allen has stopped 114 of 117 shots in three games against Minnesota and has a 0.91 goals-against average and .974 save percentage. On multiple occasions chants of 'Al-len!, Al-len!, Al-len!' resonated from the 19,334 in attendance.

 

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

 

"He's fantastic," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said. "I'm not very good with words. I don't use big words. I'll just say fantastic is about the biggest one I can figure out.

"Lights-out, I guess. He's calm back there. Anytime we need a save, a whistle, he's there. We're going to need him the rest of the way."

Allen was asked what the crowd chanting meant to him.

"That we've got loud fans," Allen said. "I don't really get caught up in it, but it's nice to see support from the fans."

Video: MIN@STL, Gm3: Allen extends to snag a slap shot

Alexander Steen had a goal and an assist, and Colton Parayko and Jaden Schwartz scored for the Blues.

Charlie Coyle scored and Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves for the Wild, who were held to one goal for the third straight game.

"I don't think we're playing that bad," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We had 79 shots at their net today, compared to, I think it was 47. Not that that's an indicator of anything, there are some parts of our game that could be better, there's no doubt in my mind. The one thing I'm not going to criticize is our effort. These guys are trying right to the end; they're trying as bad as everybody. They want to bring it home to Minnesota but right now, it's just not working."

Parayko gave the Blues a 1-0 lead 3:25 into the first period, getting the kind of start the Blues needed, giving their fans the jump they wanted.

"One-hundred percent, they were fun," Parayko said. "Loud, fun to be a part of and when you have them on your side, it makes things a lot better."

The Wild tied it 1-1 at 12:59 of the second on Coyle's goal, Minnesota's first at 5-on-5 in the series.

Schwartz put St. Louis ahead 2-1 with its first power-play goal (1-for-9) of the series at 15:19.

Steen scored an empty-net goal at 18:49 of the third to make it 3-1.

 

Goal of the game

Schwartz had little time and space in tight on Dubnyk, but he outworked Wild defenseman Marco Scandella and was able to score after Steen's pass from behind the net into the short side.

Video: MIN@STL, Gm3: Schwartz jams Steen's feed into the net

 

Save of the game

Allen stopped a wrist shot from Wild defenseman Ryan Suter with 9:43 left in the second period. Suter's shot caromed off Scottie Upshall's stick, and Allen, square to the shooter, was able to recover and make an alert glove save to keep it a 1-0 game.

 

Highlight of the game

Dubnyk made a breakaway save on Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko with 8:48 remaining in the game to keep the Wild in it at 2-1.

Video: MIN@STL, Gm3: Dubnyk robs Tarasenko with clutch stop

 

Unsung performance of the game

Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson, who scored goals in each of the first two games, played 19:17 and again was a factor. He broke up a 2-on-1 play in the second period, knocking away Eric Staal's pass that would have sent Coyle in alone on Allen at 14:52 of the second period.

 

They said it

"It's been the same. They've stuck to their game plan and we've stuck to ours and it was a real tough test for us out there the second half of the game. They pushed really hard and put us on our heels a bit and we grinded and we got it done. A huge win for us. ... The next game is going to be even harder, so we're going to have to take the next two days to rest up and be ready for the hardest game yet." -- Blues goaltender Jake Allen

 

"We have to find ways. They pack it in pretty tight. We've been saying it the last three games. It's kind of getting old, obviously. We've got to find a way to get pucks through. We need more traffic, get inside their [defensemen]. We've got to find ways to score whatever it is. It's now or never. Pretty tired of talking about it, we've just got to go out and prove it." -- Wild right wing Charlie Coyle

 

Need to know

The Wild made two lineup changes. Defensemen Nate Prosser replaced Christian Folin and forward Ryan White replaced Joel Eriksson Ek.

 

What's next

Game 4 of Western Conference First Round at Scottrade Center on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 2, FS-MW, FS-N)

 

Video: Allen, Schwartz lead Blues to 3-1 Game 3 win vs. Wild

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