Pens' rookie wins it in OT with hat trick

Blues beat Wild in OT

Blues beat Wild in OT

"That's about it right now". "Believe me: I want to win more than any human on the planet".

Joel Edmundson scored for St. Louis at 17:48 of overtime, Jake Allen made a career-high 51 saves and the Blues sneaked into Minnesota to steal Game 1 of their first-round series from the Wild with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday.

"We know the last two (victories) are going to be the hardest and it starts in Game 3", forward Jaden Schwartz told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After the Wild outplayed the Blues in most every aspect of the sport save for goaltending in the first two games, the Blues weren't looking to steal another win-they wanted to dominate one.

Bradley Beal had 22 points for the Wizards, who got enough from their top players to offset 25 points from Atlanta's Dennis Schroder and 19 from Paul Millsap.

Only one of the three goals against Allen, the one scored by Charlie Coyle on Sunday off a rebound, came when the teams were at even strength. They also controlled much of Game 1, outshooting the Predators 29-20, albeit with numerous attempts coming from outside. Minnesota tied it with a goal from Coyle with 7:01 left in the second. It came on a power-play after he drew a high-sticking penalty against the Wild's Ryan White.

Thirty-four times in 82 regular season games, the Wild scored four or more goals, establishing themselves as one of the deepest and best offensive teams in the league, which raises the question: Why are these proven scorers suddenly struggling to finish?

The teams traded goals in the third period before Guentzel beat Bobrovsky for the victor.

"It was a real tough test for us out there the second half of the game, Allen said". They have to win two more games to win the series.

Zach Parise scored again for the Wild, on a 5-on-3 late in the second period, but goalie Devan Dubnyk simply hasn't been as dominant as Allen at the other end.

"I don't think we're playing that bad", Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. Nine players have recorded a least one point in the series - including defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who has registered seven shots and a plus-2 rating. It's a little disheartening what happened in the first two games.

"They pushed really hard and put us on our heels a bit and we grinded and we got it done".

Making things more challenging, Minnesota now goes on the road to lovely St. Louis, where it will have to put its season on the line in the coming days. We know everyone has to chip in, and that's a big thing we have had going for us this season. The Wild are averaging 3.2 goals per game and are scoring on 21 percent of their power play opportunities. (It was) Game 1 and 2 that we were supposed to win. "We just have to go in and look at Sunday and say, 'OK. That's all it comes down to".

Magnus Paajarvi #56 of the St. Louis Blues fights Nino Niederreiter #22 of the Minnesota Wildfor the puck in Game Three of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scottrade Center onSunday in St. Louis, Missouri.

"We go over the tape every day to nauseam on that", Boudreau said. "That's a good test against a good team". For me, it's just about staying focused and playing a really strong game. "But things aren't going the right way, so he's probably not playing with as much confidence as you'd like to think they'd be playing with". C Eric Haula was in the lineup for the Wild after missing practice on Saturday.

Elimination Game 4, on the road.

In Minnesota, the Wild are apparently falling victim to the guidance of their old coach, Mike Yeo, which has to sting.

The NHL playoff game between the Wild and Blues will be broadcast on the NBC and Sportsnet in Canada.

Game 4: Wednesday, April 19, Minnesota at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.

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