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Postgame Hat Trick: Blues 2, Wild 1

Late goal by Schwartz gives St. Louis 2-0 series advantage

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 2-1 loss against the St. Louis Blues in Game 2 of a First Round Stanley Cup Playoff series at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Friday night:

1. Badly in need of a goal, it was Zach Parise coming through once again.

St. Louis led 1-0 after a goal by Game 1 overtime hero Joel Edmundson early in the second period. Slowly, the Blues seemed to take control of the game -- really for the first time in the series. The puck was in their offensive zone, they had taken the lead in shots, and it seemed like a prime opportunity for the visitors to take a two-goal lead.

Then Alexander Steen took a holding the stick penalty (in the offensive zone). An elbowing call on Scottie Upshall followed moments later, giving the Wild (0-2) 1:25 of two-man advantage.

It took Parise 34 seconds to capitalize.

Video: STL@MIN, Gm2: Parise roofs loose puck for PPG

Minnesota worked the puck down low near the net to Eric Staal at the right post. His attempted center for Parise hit a lunging Kyle Brodziak in front, and bounced right to the blade of Parise, who roofed a shot over Jake Allen for his second goal of the series. 

Unfortunately for the Wild, it was the only goal it would get on the night.

Minnesota is still without a goal 5-on-5 in the series; it's only goal in Game 1 -- also from Parise -- came in the final minute of regulation with the extra attacker on the ice.

"[The Blues] were being more aggressive, I mean in our zone, I think," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "But they do what they do. They clog the middle of the ice up. They've got six big defensemen, and it's hard to get through."

"They're sitting five guys when we're in the zone, right inside the hash marks and blocking shots," Parise said. "That's something we're going to have to figure out if we want to get some goals and win some games."

2. Jaden Schwartz's goal with 2:27 left was the game winner for St. Louis (2-0).

Playing 4-on-4 after Charlie Coyle and Scottie Upshall went to the penalty box for matching roughing minors, Schwartz fired a shot through a screen in front of Devan Dubnyk, beating the Wild goaltender under the crossbar for his first goal of the playoffs. 

Other than a drive to the net by Vladimir Tarasenko in overtime, one that set up the game-winning goal, it was really the first time in the series that St. Louis' dangerous first line has made any noise.

"They cranked up the intensity more," said Wild defenseman Ryan Suter. "We had some good zone time and some good chances, but obviously not good enough."

Video: Wild Game 2 Locker Room Postgame vs. Blues

3. As the series shifts to St. Louis on Sunday, the Wild will try and dig out of a 2-0 hole.

Minnesota has done it before, as recently as 2014, when the Wild dropped the first two games of its first-round series at Colorado before eventually rallying to win in seven games.

"We've been there before. Similar situation," Pominville said. "We went in there and found a way to win, and that's what we've got to do again. That's in the past, but we've got to make sure that we regroup and our focus has to be on the next game and not on the end result."

This time around, however, the Wild will need to do some serious work on the road. Getting a win in Game 3 becomes vitally important, if for no other reason than to gain some confidence. Minnesota has played solid hockey in the series, outplaying the Blues for large portions of each of the first two games. So far, though, the desired results haven't followed.

"[We] can't do much about the first two games now, just worry about the third one," Parise said. "We're going to have to ... look for places we can be better and worry about getting that next game and not dwell on the fact that we're down 0-2."

Video: Boudreau Game 2 Postgame vs. Blues

"It [stinks]. We gave up two at home. But I'll tell you right now, this series is long from over," said Wild forward Chris Stewart. "There's no quit in this dressing room. There's a lot of heart in this dressing room. I'm gonna tell you right now that we're gonna go on the road and we'll be ready for Game 3."


Loose pucks

• Parise is now second in team history with 11 playoff goals and first with 27 points (30 games).

• Parise has 70 points in 91 career postseason games including his time in New Jersey. 

• Eric Staal and Ryan Suter earned assists on Parise's goal. 

• Brodziak and Alex Pietrangelo had helpers on Schwartz's game-winner. 

• Dubnyk finished with 20 saves.

• Two days after finishing with 51 stops, Allen had 23 saves in Game 2.

• The Wild killed all four Blues power plays and has successfully killed 18 of 19 St. Louis man advantages in seven games this season.

• Attendance: 19,404 (largest of the season, third-largest playoff crowd in franchise history)


He said it

"At the end of the day, there's no time for moral victories this time of the year. We're down two, we [dug] ourselves our hole and it's up to us to dig ourselves out of it." -- Wild forward Chris Stewart


They said it

"It's a good start for us, but the job's not over yet. We know the last two are going to be the hardest and it starts in Game 3. They're going to throw everything at us and we're excited to go home for sure. We did a good job so far, but we know it's going to get a lot tougher." -- Blues forward Jaden Schwartz 


Three stars

* Jaden Schwartz 

** Zach Parise

*** Alex Pietrangelo

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