Talbot, Wild blank Blues 2-0 for record 11th home win in row
Kirill Kaprizov scored to pad his NHL rookie lead, Cam Talbot made 37 saves for his second shutout of the season and the Minnesota Wild beat the St. Louis Blues 2-0 Thursday night to stretch their franchise-record home winning streak to 11 games.
Marcus Johansson also scored for the Wild, who improved to 13-3 at Xcel Energy Center despite being outshot 37-11. Talbot is 7-0 at home in his debut with Minnesota, with nine goals allowed. The Wild are 15-4-1 with four shutouts in their last 20 games.
Blues goalie Jordan Binnington took his first loss to the Wild in four career starts. He’d allowed only three goals over his first three games against the division rival, who temporarily moved with St. Louis from the Central to the West this season for the pandemic-altered schedule.
The Blues had two games here last month postponed due to a virus outbreak on the Wild, so this matchup was the first of eight planned over a 38-day span. With a widening difference between the top four teams in the division — Vegas, Colorado, Minnesota and St. Louis — and the bottom four clubs, these Blues-Wild games down the stretch will paint a major part of the playoffs picture.
Johansson scored at the 5:46 mark of the second period off a slick give-and-go setup from Kevin Fiala, who drew the defense to Binnington’s right and sent the puck back across the ice to the 11th-year right wing for a one-timer into an open net. Jonas Brodin got the rush going and notched his 15th point, the most among Minnesota defensemen this season.
Then came the highlight-reel goal by Kaprizov, who leads all rookies in the league in goals, assists and shots. In a 1-on-1 rush against Blues defenseman Torey Krug, Kaprizov used a toe-drag move to slow down slightly and make Krug think he might move inside. Then he sped back up to send a short-side, bad-angle shot past Binnington and just under the crossbar.
The Wild held a moment of silence before the game in the mostly empty arena — their first game with ticket sales is in less than two weeks — in honor of former Blues defenseman Bobby Plager. One of the franchise’s original players, Plager died in a car crash on Wednesday.
Johansson has three goals in 13 games for the Wild in his debut season. He missed more than a month with an unspecified upper-body injury before returning to the lineup on Monday. … The Wild went 0 for 3 on their NHL-worst power play and fell below 10% for the season (10 for 103).
Blues: Return home to face Anaheim on Friday and Sunday.
Wild: Start a four-game road trip in San Jose on Monday with another game there on Wednesday.