GAME: St. Louis Blues (39-29-11-2) at Minnesota Wild (29-29-20-3).
TIME: Sunday, 3 p.m. EDT.
Forgive the St. Louis Blues if they aren't sharp against the Minnesota Wild.
Fresh off extending their playoff streak, the mentally drained Blues will
close the regular season with a meaningless game against the Wild at Xcel
With a 4-1 win over Nashville on Saturday, the Blues extended the longest
run of consecutive playoff appearances in major professional sports to 25
The Blues put their streak in jeopardy by winning just six of 27 games from
late December into February. However, they have won 10 of their last 15
(10-3-2), including five of their last seven on the road.
"We put ourselves in a pretty deep hole here, but we've gotten ourselves
out of it and I'm proud of that," said Blues center Doug Weight, who had an
assist on Saturday to extend his point streak to five games.
"Our guys, we couldn't be playing better going into the playoffs. We
believe, and we had our destiny in our own hands and we took advantage of it."
However, since they cannot move from the seventh spot in the Western
Conference, expect interim coach Mike Kitchen to rest some of his players,
including goaltender Chris Osgood, against the Wild.
"The team has battled hard for a long time here," Kitchen said.
Osgood was the NHL defensive player of the month in March after posting an
8-3-2 record, a 1.97 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
The Wild, who will miss the postseason after advancing to the West finals
last season, have made the most of their remaining games, going 7-3-0-1 since
They are coming off a 4-2 win over playoff-bound Dallas on Friday.
"We're playing very well," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "We're moving
the puck like we haven't done often during the year."
Rickard Wallin had two goals, and Marian Gaborik scored on a breakaway to
seal the victory for Minnesota.
The Blues lead the all-time series 6-4-5.
STANDINGS: Blues - 91 points, 2nd place, 18 PB, Central Division. Wild - 81
points, 5th place, 20 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Keith Tkachuk, 33 goals and 71 points; Weight, 51
assists; Mike Danton, 141 PIM. Wild - Alexandre Daigle, 20 goals and 50 points;
Andrew Brunette, 33 assists; Matt Johnson, 177 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through April 2): Blues - Power play: 18.1 percent (61 for
337), 8th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.5 percent (305 for 361), 13th. Wild -
Power play: 13.4 percent (45 for 335), 28th. Penalty killing: 84.4 percent (238
for 282), 15th.
GOALTENDERS: Blues - Osgood (31-25-8, 3 SO, 2.23 GAA); Reinhard Divis
(4-3-2, 0, 2.84). Wild - Dwayne Roloson (18-18-11, 4, 1.92); Manny Fernandez
(11-14-9, 2, 2.49).
SEASON SERIES: Wild, 1-0-2.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 2; Wild, 4-0. At Minnesota, Roloson made 24 saves for his
third shutout of the season. Osgood was pulled in the second period after
allowing three goals on nine shots.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blues - 16-18-4-2 on the road; Wild - 18-13-7-2 at home.