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Curry Stymies the St. Louis Blues as the Minnesota Wild continue hot streak

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John Curry did something no other Minnesota Wild goaltender has done this season. The 30-year-old journeyman defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-2 Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.

Curry, a Shorewood, Minn. native, stopped 43 shots in his fourth career NHL start. He hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2009-10 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“He’s a game and a battler,” Mike Yeo said about his goaltender. “He showed that tonight.”

The Blues fired pucks at the diminutive net minder, but Curry held his ground and limited their ability to get to rebounds. The blemishes on Curry’s night were a point shot through traffic and a cross-ice one-timer that he had no chance to stop.

“It was a long road back for him,” Yeo said. “It’s nice to him get rewarded with a performance like that.”

Kyle Brodziak was the star of the offense for the Wild with a pair of tallies, including a shorthanded goal that turned momentum. He later capped the scoring less than one minute into the third period to give the Wild a two-goal lead. Brodziak hadn’t scored a goal since Mar. 8.

“The chances were coming,” Brodziak said. “Tonight, I was fortunate to get a couple bounces.”

The game got chippy in the second period, even though no fights occurred in the game, when Mike Rupp caught T.J. Oshie with high hit that deemed to be an intent to injury match penalty.

Rupp’s penalty coincided with a high sticking penalty. The Blues had a full two minute 5-on-3 advantage.

The Blues (52-21-7) quickly scored, but continued on with the man advantage for another four and a half minutes. Brodziak scored his shorthanded goal and the penalty kill shut the Blues down.

“That was a big kill there for sure,” Brodziak said. “Especially after they scored on the 5-on-3 and we were able to respond like that. It was a big point of the game.”

The Wild (43-26-12) got on the board first when Nino Niederreiter deflected a shot from Jonathon Blum into the open net behind Ryan Miller at the 14:02 mark of the opening period.

The Blues were able to tie the game twice, but both times were answered less than a minute and a half later.

Matt Moulson scored the eventual game-winning goal seconds after a Blues penalty ended. Dany Heatley chipped a perfect saucer pass to Moulson on the backdoor for the tap-in.

The Wild return to action Sunday against the Nashville Predators at the Xcel Energy Center.

Three Stars

No. 3 - Nino Niederreiter. The Wild forward recorded a goal and and assist.

No. 2 - Kyle Brodziak. The Wild forward scored two goals.

No. 1 - John Curry. The Wild goaltender stopped 43 shots.

Boxscore

St. Louis…..…0 2 0 - 2

Minnesota……1 2 1 - 4

First Period - 1, Minnesota, Niederreiter 14 (Blum, Cooke), 14:04. Penalties - Niederreiter, MIN (handling the puck), 4:22; Ott, STL (goaltender interference), 7:30; Reaves, STL (cross checking), 11:31.

Second Period - 2, St. Louis, Shattenkirk 10 (Sobotka, Steen), 11:05. 3, Minnesota, Brodziak 7 (Cooke, Prosser), 12:24 (sh). 4, St. Louis, Schwartz 25 (Steen), 16:01 (sh). 5, Minnesota, Moulson 23 (Heatley, Haula), 17:30. Penalties - Scandella, MIN (high sticking), 10:30; Rupp, MIN, match (intent to injury; served by Heatley), 10:30; Ott, STL, misconduct (instigator; 10-minute), 12:24; Lapierre, STL (tripping), 15:21; Steen, STL (slashing), 18:43.

Third Period - 6, Minnesota, Brodziak 8 (Folin, Niederreiter), :58. Penalties - Koivu, MIN (tripping), 3:38.

Shots on goal - St. Louis 17-11-17 45. Minnesota 5-7-3 15.

Goalies - St. Louis, Miller (9-13), Elliott (2-2). Minnesota, Curry (43-45). Referees - Jean Hebert, Dennis LaRue. Linesmen - Scott Cherrey, Darren Gibbs.

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