St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Devan Dubnyk posted 19 saves and the Minnesota Wild grabbed a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of this Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Jason Zucker, Jason Pominville, Matt Dumba and Mikael Granlund each posted a goal for the Wild, who come into this series as the top wild card in the Western Conference thanks in large part to Dubnyk.
Acquired from the Arizona Coyotes for a draft pick on Jan. 14, Dubnyk made 38 consecutive starts for Minnesota beginning with a shutout of Buffalo on Jan. 15 and went 27-8-2 during that time with a 1.73 goals-against average.
"It feels good to take this first one tonight," said Dubnyk. "That was a pretty great game by us, from start to finish and we'll be ready to do it again on Saturday."
Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen lit the lamp for the Blues, who won the Central Division and qualified for the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Jake Allen allowed two goals on 27 shots.
"I think we sort of took our foot off the gas there for a bit," said Allen. "If we would have keep pushing there it might have been different so hopefully we'll learn a lesson from that and be ready for Saturday."
Game 2 of this best-of-seven set will take place on Saturday afternoon in St. Louis.
Minnesota had appeared to put the game out of reach when Granlund scored an empty-netter with 1:13 to play and David Backes was whistled for cross- checking just two seconds later.
St. Louis, though, made it a 3-2 game with 58.7 seconds to play. A neutral zone faceoff just outside the Minnesota zone was won by St. Louis and Vladimir Tarasenko skated it in. His shot was blocked, but Steen grabbed the disc out of the air and quickly shot it in.
The Blues were again able to pull Allen for an extra attacker but were unable to net the equalizer and Pominville put the game away with another empty-net goal and 20 seconds left.
Zucker got the Wild on the board just 2:47 into the game as he skated down the left wing and got a shot on net that Allen stopped. Zucker picked up his own rebound and quickly wrapped it in from the right side for a 1-0 lead.
The Wild made it a 2-0 game 4:10 into the second on the power play as Jared Spurgeon kept in a clear in the high slot and slid the disc over to the left for Dumba, who blasted a one-timer past Allen.
Dubnyk needed to stop just 11 shots through the first two periods, but the Blues were able to get one past him at 7:12 of the third.
Patrik Berglund skated the puck from the right corner to the mid-boards before sending a pass to the point for Kevin Shattenkirk, who got a shot on net that Schwartz tipped in to make it a 2-1 contest.
Minnesota went 2-1-1 against St. Louis this season ... Minnesota was 2-for-4 on the power play, while St. Louis went 0-for-2 ... This is the first time these teams are meeting in the postseason ... Zach Parise posted two assists for the Wild, while Shattenkirk had two for the Blues.