Jason Zucker and Matt Dumba gave Minnesota a two-goal lead through two periods and the Wild kept chances to a minimum for Devan Dubnyk, opening the playoffs strong with a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen scored in the third period for the Central Division champion Blues, but too little and too late. Game 2 is on Saturday.
Dubnyk, in his playoff debut, saw only 11 shots in the first two periods, and finished with 19 saves.
There was a flurry of scoring in the final seconds, some of it after a standing-room crowd had headed for the exits. Mikael Granlund's empty-netter made it a two-goal cushion with 1:13 to go, 7 seconds after Allen headed for the bench. Steen scored with 58.7 seconds left for St. Louis, but Jason Pominville scored with 20 seconds left to clinch it.