Brian Elliott is riding another shutout streak and is improving St. Louis' playoff chances in the process, as the Blues earned a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.
Each team entered the game with 46 points, but have been going in different directions the past two weeks.
St. Louis, currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference, has rattled off a season-high six straight wins, the last three coming on the road via Elliot shutouts. Elliott made 23 saves Thursday and has not given up a goal in 189:31. Last season, he set a club record with a 241:33 shutout streak.
Roman Polak's first goal in over two years proved to be the game-winner, and Andy McDonald added an insurance tally in the third period.
Niklas Backstrom stopped 18-of-20 shots as Minnesota lost for the fifth time in six games, scoring just six goals during the stretch. The Wild still control their postseason fate as they sit in the No. 7 spot in the West, two points ahead of the Detroit Red Wings.
The only goal St. Louis needed came 10:37 into the game, as Chris Stewart sent a cross-ice pass to an open Polak, who settled the puck and wristed it into the right corner for his first goal since Mar. 30, 2011.
The Wild, who lost a 1-0 decision against the Blackhawks on Tuesday, failed on power-play chances in each of the first two periods and fell behind even further midway through the third, when McDonald's backhander snuck through Backstrom's pads with 10:30 remaining.
Elliott stopped 16 shots over the first two periods and was tested seven times in the final stanza before keeping his streak alive and recording his 21st career shutout.
"We played a strong team and we played a good game," Wild head coach Mike Yeo said despite the loss. "I'm not saying we can't be better in a couple of areas, but obviously the complexion of the game changes if we score first."
This is the Blues' longest winning streak since a seven-game stretch from Oct. 22-Nov. 7, 2010 ... St. Louis as a team has not allowed a goal in 201:24 ... The entirety of Elliott's shutout streak has occurred on the road, breaking Jacques Plante's club record of 141:19 set during the 1968-69 season ... Elliott has won his last five decisions ... The Blues have not allowed a power play goal in eight straight games, killing off all 19 penalties in that span ... St. Louis swept the three-game season series and has won five straight meetings between the teams ... The Wild have lost their last three home games in regulation after going 13-3-1 to open the season at Xcel Energy Center.