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The St. Louis Blues were looking to turn around a sluggish start to the new year that has seen the team lose three of its last four, and the Blues did just that thanks to a 4-1 victory against the Minnesota Wild.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Elliott had one of his best performances of the season in which he turned aside 38 of 39 shots faced to earn the win and the first star of the game.
Following the victory, the Blues improve to 30-17-8 with 68 points. They currently sit three points behind the Dallas Stars for second place in the Central Division and have played two more games. Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks lead the division and are eight points ahead.
The Blues needed a good start, and they thought they had it early in the first period.
Alexander Steen was streaking into the attacking zone and ripped a wrister past Devan Dubnyk into the back of the net. The only problem was the official blew his whistle for too many men on Minnesota before Steen took the shot. The referee should have let the play continue because St. Louis had possession, but since the whistle blew, the goal could not count.
In the second period, the Blues finally got the first goal, and this one counted.
On the power play, Steen moved to the dot and passed below the goal line to Paul Stastny who sent a pass across the slot to Vladamir Tarasenko who roofed it for the goal. The goal ends Tarasenko’s drought of five games without a point and gives him a team-leading 26 goals on the season.
Special teams marked a big difference in this game as the Blues capitalized on another chance later in the second period.
With just over 10 minutes to play in the period, Troy Bouwer passed to the high slot where Robby Fabbri fired a shot on net. Dubnyk made the first ave, but Jori Lehtera put home the rebound to end his six-game pointless streak and make it 2-0.
Later in the period, Elliott made a brilliant stop to help set up a chance with Tarasenko streaking down the left side. Tarasenko spun past a defender trying to make a play. Minnesota was there to disrupt Tarasenko’s shot attempt, but the puck bounced around before Stastny was there to put it under the pad of Dubnyk to make it 3-0 with 3:10 left in the period.
Matt Dumba tallied a goal for Minnesota later in the second to draw the deficit to two, but Brouwer added a power play goal in the third period to seal the victory.
Four Blues finished with multi-point nights as the Blues scored on three power play chances.
Next up for St. Louis will be a matchup against the Winnipeg Jets at home Tuesday, Feb. 9.
Arch City Sports/KOMU-TV