Sports

Tarasenko scores 3 times, Blues beat Wild 4-1 and even series at game apiece

  • Minnesota Wild's Matt Dumba, left, collides with St. Louis Blues' Patrik Berglund (21), of Sweden, as Berglund and Wild's Nino Niederreiter, of Switzerland, chase after a loose puck during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series, Saturday, April 18, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Minnesota Wild's Matt Dumba, left, collides with St. Louis Blues' Patrik Berglund (21), of Sweden, as Berglund and Wild's Nino Niederreiter, of Switzerland, chase after a loose puck during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series, Saturday, April 18, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (The Associated Press)

  • St. Louis Blues' Paul Stastny, left, and Minnesota Wild's Kyle Brodziak get tangled up during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series, Saturday, April 18, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    St. Louis Blues' Paul Stastny, left, and Minnesota Wild's Kyle Brodziak get tangled up during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series, Saturday, April 18, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (The Associated Press)

  • St. Louis Blues' David Backes, bottom, tries to reach a puck as Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk defends during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series, Saturday, April 18, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    St. Louis Blues' David Backes, bottom, tries to reach a puck as Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk defends during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series, Saturday, April 18, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (The Associated Press)

Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals in the first period and then had an empty-netter for his first career playoff hat trick, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday that evened their playoff series at a game apiece.

Tarasenko had an assist and no shots in a 4-2 loss in Game 1, but responded with an impressive performance more in line with his play in the regular season. The dynamic winger ran his playoff total to seven goals in nine games.

Patrik Berglund's unassisted goal past Devan Dubnyk made it a two-goal cushion with 1:58 to go for the Central Division champions, who will carry momentum to Minnesota for Game 3 on Monday night.