– Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images
After dropping game one to the Wild, the Blues answered back with a 4-1 victory over Minnesota in game two.
With the win, the series is now tied at one as the Blues must win at least one game on the road in order to win the series.
Offensviely, the Blues got help from a pair of first period goals from Vladamir Tarasenko before Patrik Berglund Tarasenko added some insurance late in the third period.
Tarasenko’s hat trick is the first of the NHL playoffs and first of Tarasenko’s career. He finished with four goals in six postseason games last year.
In net, Jake Allen got his second consecutive playoff start and earned his first playoff win of his career recording 25 saves and allowing just one goal.
In the first period, the Blues got off to a hot start thanks to their regular season goals leader. St. Louis worked the puck to the point where Alexander Steen sent a wrist shot in on net. Tarasenko circled to the front and fought off a stick check from a Minnesota defender. Tarasenko deflected the shot past Devan Dubnyk for the goal making it 1-0 Blues with 6:42 remaining in the first period.
Later in the first period, Tarasenko struck again. Kevin Shattenkirk and Steen again recorded assists on the goal as Steen passed to Tarasenko who shot a tough angle attempt on net. Dubnyk failed to squeeze the pads completely as the puck trickled into the net with 1:59 remaining in the first period.
In the second period, the Wild got on the board as Marco Scandella sent a slap shot from the point. Allen appeared to not see the puck until the last second as the shot beat Allen low to the right-pad side cutting the St. Louis lead to one just 1:46 into the period.
The score remained 2-1 thanks to a big save by Allen late in the second period. With under a minute left on the St. Louis power play, Alex Pietrangelo had his shot blocked away leading to a two-on-one opportunity for the Wild. Jason Zucker took a shot just wide of the net that bounced off the boards. The puck went right to Mikko Koivu who shot toward the empty side of the net, but Allen dived to make the save.
In the third period, the Blues had another scare, but it was David Backes who saved the day. Backes made a play on a shot and swept the puck out of the crease as it was heading toward the net with Allen on the ice outside the crease. Backes made the play and the score remained 2-1.
Later in the third, Patrik Berglund added to the Blues’ lead as he blocked down a clearing attempt for Minnesota. Berglund picked up the puck and fired a shot over the shoulder of Dubnyk making it 3-1 St. Louis.
Tarasenko added an empty-net goal giving St. Louis the win to tie the series.
Game three of the seven-game series will take place in Minnesota on Monday, Apr. 20 at 7 p.m. CT.