This time it’s the Blues who stuff Wild
By Michael Russo
McClatchy News Services
ST. PAUL — Every goalie’s a superstar when they face the Minnesota Wild these days.
No offense to Dany Sabourin, Curtis Sanford and now Chris Mason, but these goalies aren’t exactly Patrick Roy in his prime.
Yet all three looked Hall of Fame-bound, surrendering a grand total of four goals in the Wild’s past three games.
Mason was by far the first star Saturday night, stoning the offensively challenged Wild at every turn in a 2-1 St. Louis Blues victory. Minnesota lost back-to-back regulation home games for the first time since Nov. 21 and 23, 2007.
"They’re pressing," coach Jacques Lemiere said. "They feel a little pressure because we don’t score goals 5-on-5, and now it seems our power play’s suffering, too. "
The Blues presented Mason, who made 31 saves for his first victory with the Blues, with the game puck. The heart-and-soul 32-year-old will give it to his mother as a tribute to her dad, who died last summer.
Facing an injury-riddled Blues team that was missing Paul Kariya, Andy McDonald, Erik Johnson, Dan Hinote and T.J. Oshie, the Wild couldn’t score after Stephane Veilleux’s early second-period goal.
The Wild went 0-for-5 on the power play, including three in the first period and one in the final 1 minute, 12 seconds, after former Minnesota State Mankato star David Backes received a five-minute major and game misconduct for boarding Brent Burns.
BLUES 2, WILD 1
St. Louis 0 2 0 — 2
Minnesota 0 1 0 — 1
First Period — None. Penalties — Tkachuk, StL (interference), 1:02; Jackman, StL (hooking), 3:09; Winchester, StL (roughing), 18:00.
Second Period — 1, Minnesota, Veilleux 2 (Sheppard, Reitz), 1:54. 2, St. Louis, Boyes 9 (Tkachuk, Regier), 2:40. 3, St. Louis, Boyes 10 (Brewer, Stempniak), 12:47 (pp). Penalties — Stempniak, StL (high-sticking), 6:01; Reitz, Min (interference), 10:53.
Third Period — None. Penalties — Boogaard, Min (boarding), 3:46; Backes, StL, major-game misconduct (boarding), 18:48.
Shots on Goal — St. Louis 4-16-6 — 26. Minnesota 11-8-13 — 32.
Power-play opportunities — St. Louis 1 of 2; Minnesota 0 of 5.
Goalies — St. Louis, Mason 1-5-0 (32 shots-31 saves). Minnesota, Backstrom 11-5-1 (26-24).
A — 18,568 (18,064). T — 2:20.
Referees — Kerry Fraser, Rob Shick. Linesmen — Thor Nelson, Lyle Seitz.