The St. Louis Blues opened their season-long six-game losing streak with a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center.
Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle scored twice and it was the second goal, which came just 21 seconds after Zach Parise scored on a power play in the second period, that was too much for St. Louis to overcome.
“We showed the tale of two teams,” Blues captain David Backes told reporters. “We showed a team that had learned their lesson down, gave up a late goal, and all of a sudden came out on fire in the second. (Alexander Steen) scores a big goal for us. Then they get the kind of fluky power-play goal and before they can announce that goal there’s another one in the back of the net.
“That’s the lesson that we’re supposed to learn and it showed on the first one. We’re going to get scored on. We’ve got to bounce back right back afterwards and have a better shift on the next one.”
After surrendering a goal to Coyle with just eight seconds remaining in the first period, the Blues (1-1-0, 2 points) tied the score with a goal from Steen at the 2:49 mark of the second period. Vladimir Tarasenko and Paul Stastny were credited with the assists.
“I thought we played our best hockey for the first five minutes of the second (period) and that was a great sign,” Backes said.
But the Wild (2-0-0, 4 points) got the power-play tally from Parise at the 15:15 mark of the second period after Jaden Schwartz went to the box for tripping and then Coyle scored his second at 15:36 to give Minnesota a 3-1 lead.
Tarasenko scored his second goal of the season on a power play just 4:45 into the third period, assisted by Kevin Shattenkirk and Steen.
The Blues out-shot the Wild 13-1 in the third period, but after Tarasenko scored they weren’t able to tie the score in the final 15:15.
“We out-shoot a team and have some pretty darn good chances just need to find the back of the net,” Backes said. “Can’t always just chalk it up to bad luck or fluky goals or whatever. We need to win games and it’s a good lesson for us.”
Blues goalie Jake Allen stopped just 16 of 19 shots he faced in his first start of the season, while Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves for the Wild.
“They’ve got a good squad,” Allen said. “They’re going to be one of the best in the league I think this year and we all knew that coming in that it was going to be a tough test. But I think we did some good things tonight. We didn’t definitely play a full 60, but it’s something to build on.”
The Blues’ road trip continues with five games in Canada. They will play in Calgary on Tuesday, Edmonton on Thursday, Vancouver on Friday, Winnipeg on Sunday and then Montreal on Tuesday.