Skip to main content

Two quick goals propel Wild bast Blues

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild have yet to play well for a complete hockey game. But two games into their schedule, the Wild haven't lost.

On Saturday, they scored two goals 21 seconds apart late in the second period of a 3-2 win against the St. Louis Blues at Xcel Energy Center.

Minnesota never trailed in winning their home opener. But unlike a 5-4 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, the Wild won with grit and goaltending. Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves, including 12 in the third period.

"Two games into the season, nobody is on top of their game completely," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "But when you can get wins when you're not on top of your game, that's a good thing."

Charlie Coyle scored his second goal at 15:36 of second period for a 3-1 lead. It came on the shift after Zach Parise scored his fourth of the season on a power play.

Coyle's goal was originally credited to Thomas Vanek, and would have been his 300th in the NHL. It appeared his centering pass from the right corner bounced in off a Blues defenseman.

The Wild made note of the milestone on the video board, before the scoring change was made during the second intermission.

"That's OK," Vanek said with a chuckle. "It's his job to go there. I was just trying to bank it off somebody. It was a goal and that's all that matters."

Coyle, charging to the front of the net, overcame a shove to the back by Paul Stastny and remained in control to get something on his shot, although he said he couldn't figure out what knocked it in. He said he didn't know the goal was his until reporters informed him afterward.

"I feel kind of bad now," Coyle said. "But [Thomas will] get two standing [ovations] now, so I think he'll take it."

St. Louis (1-1-0) outshot Minnesota 32-19, including 13-1 in the third period. Vladimir Tarasenko's wrist shot from the right circle was the only one to elude Dubnyk in the third, pulling the Blues within 3-2 with 15:15 to play.

Minnesota's only shot in the period came with 5:07 to play.

"Two fluky goals gave them a little bit of momentum and then we took the game over," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I don't know what you can say. We played well, we played hard. The third goal was the big difference, but there was a lot of good things we did today."

Coyle's goal with eight seconds remaining in the first period gave the Wild a 1-0 lead. Mikko Koivu won a defensive-zone draw to defenseman Jonas Brodin, who got the puck to Coyle near his blue line. He flipped the puck deep, reached it at the top of the right circle, knifed between a pair of Blues defenders, and flipped a backhand past Jake Allen's glove.

"End of the period, I just tried to put it behind [the defensemen]," Coyle said. "I just stuck my stick out and lucky enough it hit it. I got a shot off and it hit the back of the net. I'll take it."

St. Louis dominated the opening couple of minutes of the second period and capitalized at 2:49 when Tarasenko dropped a pass to Alexander Steen along the half wall, where he snapped a quick shot past Dubnyk to make it 1-1.

Three straight penalties sapped the Blues of their momentum and changed the direction of the game. The Wild broke the tie with the power-play goal by Parise, who had a hat trick in the win at Colorado, a game Minnesota trailed 3-0 and 4-1.

Allen made 16 saves in his first start of the season. Brian Elliott defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Thursday.

"I think we kind of showed the tale of two teams," Blues captain David Backes said. "We came out on fire in the second, Steen scores a big goal for us, and then they get a fluky goal and before they can even announce it, there's another one in the back of the net.

"We're supposed to learn and show it on the first one. We're going to get scored on, but we have to bounce right back afterwards and have a better shift the next one."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.