Jake Allen powers Blues to game one victory in Minnesota

The Blues netminder recorded the third most saves ever in a playoff game in Blues history.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Wikimedia

On Wednesday night, the St. Louis Blues beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in overtime to take the first game of their best-of-seven series.

Blues goalie Jake Allen made a career-high 51 saves in the game, and defenseman Joel Edmundson scored the OT winner with just over two minutes left in the extra frame to send the home team packing.

Minnesota dictated play for the majority of the game and held the puck in the Blues’ zone for extended periods of time but struggled to find the back of the net. Allen continued his hot streak and kept the Wild off the board for nearly the entire game.

After a scoreless first period, Blues left-winger Vladimir Sobotka broke the tie 6:21 into the second period. Forward Alexander Steen intercepted a failed clear attempt and found a wide open Sabotka streaking down the middle of the ice. He caught it and flicked a wrist shot to the far side of the Wild net, beating goalie Devan Dubnyk’s glove. It was Sobotka’s second goal of the season.

The goal seemed to wake Minnesota up, and the Wild controlled the pace for most of the second period, finishing with a 16-6 shot edge but still failing to light the lamp.

The third period saw more of the same, with the Blues playing again on the defensive, but this time, the Wild were able to break through.

With 22 seconds left in regulation, a one-timer from Wild forward Zach Parise leveled the score, breaking up Allen’s shutout and sending the game to overtime. The shot was Minnesota’s 44th shot on goal of the night.

When the teams came out for another 20 minutes, the Blues’ offense found a spark and began producing scoring chances on Dubnyk. As the teams played on, neither one showed any sign of slowing down, and neither goalie blinked at the pressure they faced.

Eventually, the puck found the back of the net off the stick of Blues defensemen Joel Edmundson. With just over two minutes remaining in the first overtime, Vladimir Tarasenko tried crashing the net with the puck on his stick. When he got to the crease, he was knocked off the puck by Wild defenders, and the puck slid to the left of Dubnyk’s crease. Waiting for it was Edmundson, who came in behind the play and buried it with 2:12 left.

St. Louis finished the game 0 for 4 on the power play and was outshot 52-26 overall. After the game, Tarasenko spoke about Allen’s performance and how many shots St. Louis gave up.

“We can’t leave him like this to make unreal saves five to seven times a game,” Tarasenko said. “We need to play better defense and play on the same page.”

The Blues will be looking to do that when they play again Friday night. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network, as well as locally on FOX Sports Midwest.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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