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Wild Begins Long Road Stretch in St. Louis

Minnesota won 6-2 over Pittsburgh on Black Friday

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Wild will try to run its winning streak to three games when it plays the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night at Scottrade Center.

The Wild scored perhaps its most convincing victory of the season in a 6-2 win over the defending Stanley Cup champions in a Black Friday matinee at Xcel Energy Center.

Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter each scored a pair of goals and Jonas Brodin had a career-high three assists as Minnesota finished off a season sweep of Pittsburgh.

"We were ready to go right from the first period," said Wild forward Zach Parise, who finished with a goal and an assist. "Special teams was really good on the PK and on the power play. Our 5-on-5 play was really good, so I think we should be really happy with how we played."

Coyle scored 40 seconds into the game then added his second goal with 22.2 seconds remaining in the first period to give Minnesota a two-goal advantage after one period.

The late goal was a big one in the eyes of Wild coach Bruce Boudreau.

"Anytime you score in the last minute of a period, especially to increase the lead by two, it really didn't give them the opportunity to think, 'Hey, we played bad, but we're only down one,'" Boudreau said. "We had three goals on the board, and I thought that was really big going in the second period. I thought if we could get the next one, it might just crush them."

Both of Niederreiter's goals came on the Wild power play, which has now scored in four straight games. Parise's goal was also a power-play tally, as Minnesota scored multiple times on the man advantage for the first time this season. 

"We're shooting. Shooting the puck. And [assistant coach] John [Anderson] works very hard at that," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "I keep telling him, 'Just keep pounding it in them, pounding it in them to shoot it,' and he does, he shows it everyday, and when you shoot pucks, good things happen."

Minnesota will be without defenseman Christian Folin, who was injured in the first period against the Penguins with an apparent left knee injury. Folin was scheduled to have an MRI later on Friday and a more accurate prognosis is expected sometime on Saturday.

Nate Prosser will slide into the lineup in Folin's place.

St. Louis has not played since Wednesday when it lost 4-3 to the Washington Capitals on the second of back-to-back games. The Blues won 4-2 in Boston the night before. 

The Blues enter one point clear of the Wild in the Central Division standings; Minnesota has one game in hand. 

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