Undoubtedly, the stand-out performance of the series came from Blues netminder Jake Allen.
“We’ll have a good practice (Tuesday) and get ready to go”, Blues coach Mike Yeo said.
“He’s in the zone and he’s really backstopping us right now”.
And now the Blues, outshot 117-79 in the series, are on the cusp of their first series sweep since 2001. Minnesota’s 3.21 goals-per-game average ranked second only to Pittsburgh’s 3.39 in the regular season. We had 79 shots at their net today, compared to, I think it was 47. They have to win two more games to win the series. With the traffic, Schwartz is able to wrist the shot past Dubnyk for the game winning goal. “We got two wins, you’re definitely happy about that, but we need a little bit better effort and I think we’re going to get it”.
And all in all, things just don’t look too bright for the Blue Jackets.
Propelled by an excellent opening period, the Blues were energized throughout a 3-1 Game 3 win over the Wild Sunday at Scottrade Center.
St. Louis has been more than willing to allow the Wild shots from the outside.
Parise, who grinded through illnesses and an early injury to finish with 19 goals in 69 games, more than made up for a missed opportunity with about 10 minutes remaining.
Making things more challenging, Minnesota now goes on the road to attractive St. Louis, where it will have to put its season on the line in the coming days.
It will be interesting to see if having last change will free up Vladimir Tarasenko and others to a lesser extent to get back on their regular season goal scoring pace. Minnesota tied it with a goal from Coyle with 7:01 left in the second.
Overtime seemed to be looming until roughing penalties against Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle and the Blues’ Scottie Upshall with 4:03 left in the third period set up a four-on-four situation that left Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk shaking his head after the game.
Fresh off the best regular season in franchise history and armed a deep forward unit that deposited more pucks into the net than all but one National Hockey League team, the Wild coach didn’t expect to be staring down an 0-3 deficit in a seven-game, first-round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues. Schwartz, who took a high stick from Ryan White to earn the penalty, scored his second goal of the series off a pass from Steen behind the net.
It also came as a result of the Wild battling back from a 2-0 deficit after falling to the Avalanche in the first two games of that best-of-seven series. Guentzel is the first Pittsburgh to rookie to get a playoff hat trick.
That means both the Blues and the defending champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, could be waltzing into the second round of the playoffs with hardly a blemish to their postseason start.
It was Sissons’ first point since he scored two goals against San Jose on March 25. Sergei Bobrovsky had 42 saves.
Not only have the Wild been held to a goal per game – two with a man advantage – they have yet to hold a single lead in the series.
Continuing the trend, Schwartz again gave the Blues a 2-1 lead in the third before Minnesota made a push for a late goal, with the extra attacker. The quotes after the game on Friday were very different from those of Wednesday, as the players clearly recognized that things have quickly become very dire.
The Wild posted a franchise-record 52 shots in Wednesday night’s game, but it wasn’t enough to overcome to Blues’ goaltender Jake Allen. He was drilled into the boards during Friday night’s game.