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Postgame Hat Trick: Blues 3, Wild 1

Allen outstanding again as Blues push Wild to brink of elimination

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 3-1 loss against the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of a First Round Stanley Cup Playoff series at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Sunday afternoon:

1. After a tough first period, the Wild reverted to its Game 1 form for a good chunk of the second period. 

It got rewarded for it, too, when Charlie Coyle crashed the net to scoop in a rebound of a Zach Parise shot to tie the game at 1. The goal was a nice reward for Coyle, who had been snakebitten through the first two games of the series, but earned a promotion to the top line with his play in Game 2. 

Coyle's tally was the first 5-on-5 goal scored by Minnesota in the series. 

Unfortunately for the Wild, its penalty kill, which had been fantastic in the series so far, fell victim to a goal late in the period when Alexander Steen centered a pass off a wrap-around to a crashing Jaden Schwartz, who had burrowed to the top of the crease. 

Video: MIN@STL, Gm3: Coyle backhands a rebound into the net

"That's how it goes sometimes -- not ideal. We get that big goal and things are going in our direction," Coyle said. "A big power play goal on their end, but there's still plenty of time left to tie things up and get some momentum back. Obviously we didn't do that."

Minnesota killed the first eight Blues power plays of the series, including two on Sunday, before Schwartz's goal gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. 

Alexander Steen's empty-net goal with 1:11 remaining in regulation iced it.

2. The Blues (3-0) got more offense from its defense on Sunday when Colton Parayko scored off the rush 3:25 into the game.

After defenseman Joel Edmundson scored the overtime winner in Game 1, he found the net in the first period of Game 2 to give the Blues a lead.

This time it was Parayko, the towering former Alaska Nanook, who fired a shot that may have ramped up off the stick blade of Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and under the crossbar past goaltender Devan Dubnyk. 

The 23-year-old Parayko now has three goals in 23 career postseason games (he has 13 goals in 160 regular season contests).

3. For the third time in as many games, the Wild (0-3) outshot the Blues and seemed to have the better of the scoring chances. For the third time, it didn't matter.

"It's another one that could be [a win]," said Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk. "I think when they get a power-play goal, it's the difference in the game. Really, it's all three games have been that way. It's a bounce one way or another and it's pretty crazy to be in this situation with three games like that. But again, all we can do is keep pushing the way we're pushing."

Video: Wild Game 3 Locker Room Postgame at St. Louis

St. Louis' first goal of the game allowed it to revert to its protect-the-net-at-all-costs style that worked in each of the first two games of the series. Even after the Wild tied the game in the second and seemed to have the momentum, the Blues gained the lead again just 2:20 later, once again content to protect the net, especially in the third period.

Allen finished with 40 saves while the Blues blocked 23 more shots.

"It's tight. I mean, it's playoffs. It's been one goal difference. It's not like they're getting chance after chance," said Wild forward Eric Staal. "We're just not capitalizing when we have the chances and then they have. It's two good teams, tight-checking. There's not a lot of room, and you've got to fight to find ways to get there and you've got to cash in when you can, and we haven't been able to do that."

Now down 3-0, the Wild will need a historic comeback if it hopes to advance in this series. Of 184 teams to fall behind 3-0 in a series, just four have come all the way back to win the series (two percent). 

"It is possible. It's been done," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "When you have three games that were as close as ours, it doesn't take a lot to turn it over. I think it's two pretty evenly-based teams. Like our whole goal is to win Wednesday. Win Wednesday and we'll be happy for a day and we'll see what happens on Friday."

Tweet from @mnwild: �� Bruce Boudreau on today's Game 3, moving on to Wednesday and more. #mnwild pic.twitter.com/akQTgLg52H


Loose pucks

• Parise and Suter each earned assists on Coyle's goal. Parise now has one point in each game of the series.

• Suter finished with a game-high seven shots on goal.

• Dubnyk stopped 28 shots.

• Patrik Berglund had two assists for the Blues.

• Steen finished with one goal and one assist.

• Minnesota won 58 percent of the faceoffs (42-of-72).

• Attendance: 19,334


He said it

"After the type of year we had, this is definitely hard to imagine right now. We've got to find a way to win one, to do our best in Game 4." -- Wild forward Eric Staal


They said it

"He's fantastic. I'm not very good with words. I don't use big words. I'll just say fantastic's about the biggest one I can figure out. Lights-out, I guess. He's calm back there. Any time we need a save, a whistle, he's there. We're going to need him the rest of the way." -- Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo on goaltender Jake Allen


Dan's three stars

* Jake Allen

** Jaden Schwartz

*** Charlie Coyle

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