Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko used an empty-net goal to become the first player to ever score a playoff hat trick against the Wild, as the Blues secured a 4-1 win in Game 2 of the series Saturday afternoon in St. Louis. Wild defenseman Marco Scandella scored a third-period goal for the Wild, while Devan Dubnyk stopped 23-of-26 shots. The two teams will meet again as the Round 1 series moves to Saint Paul for Game 3 Monday at 7:00 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North (local), CNBC (national) and KFAN 100.3 FM.
Minnesota will enter Game 3 in a 1-1 series tie for the fourth time in its nine all-time playoff series. The Wild hasn’t had a 1-1 series since 2008’s Round 1 vs. Colorado (2-4 series loss), and has been down 2-0 in its past three series over the last two postseasons.
Marco Scandella got Minnesota on the board with his first point of the series. He has six points (4-2=6) in 20 career playoff games. The 25-year-old defenseman had a career-high 11 goals for the Wild in 64 games during the regular season.
Thomas Vanek earned the primary assist on Scandella’s goal for his first point of the series. Vanek has 31 points (20-11=31) in 55 career NHL playoff games. He ranked third on the Wild this season with 52 points (21-31=52).
Charlie Coyle registered his first point of the series with an assist on Scandella’s goal and tied his postseason career high with four hits in the game. The 23-year-old registered career highs in assists (24) and points (35) this season and now has 10 points (3-7=10) in 20 career playoff games over the last three postseasons.
Both teams each registered 36 hits in the game – T-4th for most hits by the Wild in a single playoff game in team history. Chris Stewart recorded a career-high six hits, while Zach Parise tied his career high with six hits.
Ryan Suter skated a game-high 29:36 TOI – 4:01 more than any other player. The alternate captain has led every Wild player in TOI in all 20 playoff games during his three postseasons with Minnesota, and opponents in 19-of-20 (95.0%).
Devan Dubnyk stopped 23-of-26 shots to earn his first career NHL playoff loss.
Vladimir Tarasenko registered two goals in the first period before earning the hat trick with an empty netter – the first hat trick Minnesota has ever allowed in 49 all-time playoff games. Patrik Berglund also scored for the Blues. Jake Allen made 24 saves to earn the victory.