Wild blow 3-1 lead in third, fall to Blues
Robert Thomas tracked down a skipping puck and snapped it into the top of the net with 23 seconds left, capping a three-goal third-period rally by the St. Louis Blues for a 4-3 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday night to stop the Wild’s seven-game winning streak.
Mike Hoffman’s second power play goal of the game, both assisted by David Perron, brought the Blues within one early in the third period. Jordan Kyrou tied the game about four minutes later.
Then came the most costly of all the defensive breakdowns by the Wild, when Jonas Brodin was caught flat-footed and beaten by some slick stick work by Thomas.
Marcus Foligno had a goal and an assist, Brodin and Joel Eriksson Ek also scored and Jordan Greenway had two assists for the Wild, who wasted a prime opportunity to creep closer to the West Division lead behind Vegas and Colorado. Both the Golden Knights and Avalanche played later Wednesday.
Cam Talbot, who stopped 28 shots for the Wild, had his five-start winning streak snapped.
Jordan Binnington made 25 saves for the Blues, who have won three straight games and are trying to fend off Arizona and San Jose for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division. Binnington is 5-1 in six career starts against the Wild, the only loss coming here in a 2-0 decision on March 25 to Talbot.
The Blues were the last team to beat the Wild, too, a 3-2 win in overtime on April 10 when Hoffman tied the game with 42 seconds remaining in regulation. Hoffman has seven goals and four assists in his last seven games.
The Wild brought the NHL’s fourth-best penalty kill into the evening, but Perron found Hoffman with cross-slot passes for backdoor one-timers just 8 and 29 seconds into those power plays, respectively. This was the eighth straight game with a power play goal for St. Louis.
ODDS AND ENDLINES
Eriksson Ek left the game late in the third period after a neutral-zone collision with a Blues player. … Blues defensemen Vince Dunn and Colton Parayko were out for the second straight game with upper body injuries. Forward Zach Sanford, a healthy scratch for the last two games, returned to the lineup. … The Wild have outscored opponents 52-30 in the first period. … Foligno has three goals in his last four games.
The rematches here are Thursday and Saturday. Then the Blues return home for a two-game set against Anaheim starting Monday, when the Wild play the first of two straight games versus Vegas.