After a pleasant Blackhawk beatdown last night, the Blues hosted the Minnesota Wild in the home-opener of their 50th season.
PHOTO: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Alexander Steen "broke the ice" by snapping a loose puck into the top right corner. Although the Blues dominated the first, Ryan Sutter tied it up before the period ended. The Blues headed into the second period outshooting the Wild 14 to 2.
About midway through the second period, Nail Yakupov unloaded a clapper towards the Wild's goaltender, Devan Dubnyk. The puck bounced off Dubnyk's left shoulder and found its way into the net to give the Blues their lead back.
"This (was) the first time I've scored from a slapshot," says Yakupov. "I was just trying to shoot the puck and find a rebound, but I didn't have to find the rebound."
Hitch was pleased with his play, explaining, "(He) is starting to understand the things we want in winning hockey."
Just 4:25 into the third, Yakupov found Magnus Paajarvi, who buried it to extend the Blues' lead to 3-1. Nail and Magnus were line partners in 2013 when they played for the Edmonton Oilers.
"It doesn't always work out, but that time it did," says Paajarvi. "I know Yakupov a lot. He's got a good start."
Although they trailed by two, the Wild didn't give up.
Charlie Coyle capitalized on a dish from Jason Zucker to bring them back within one goal late in the game.
Despite the third period pressure, Minnesota couldn't put one past Jake Allen to tie it. The Blues won by a score of 3-2.
Allen blocked 19 of the 21 shots he faced. "Going off with a 2-0-0 start to the year is really impressive for us," said Allen.
The Blues will host the New York Rangers this Saturday, 7:00 p.m. They'll look to keep a perfect record.