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Minnesota Wild rally before falling in a shootout to St. Louis

Dany Heatley (15) checks Jay Bouwmeester (19) in the Minnesota Wild's 3-2 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Dany Heatley (15) checks Jay Bouwmeester (19) in the Minnesota Wild's 3-2 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild came back from a flat start to tie the game in the second period, but could not finish it before losing to the St. Louis 3-2 in a shootout Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild felt good about their performance and feel that they match up well with the leaders of the Central Division.

“We played them tough,” Zach Parise said. “We did a lot of good things when you play a team like that. They thrive on pucks along the wall and outmuscling and outworking you.

“They had their moments. They had their shifts. They had their shots. I thought did a good of getting good chances on them and controlling a lot of the play.”

The Blues (44-14-6) got a pair of goals on their first two shots. Oshie knocked a rebound past Ilya Bryzgalov on the power play three minutes and 37 seconds into the game and Carlo Colaiacovo recorded his first goal of the season with a shot through traffic from the high slot.

“It was good that we got that 2-0 lead so we could manage the minutes a little bit better,” Ken Hitchcock said. “They had a little more speed and a little bit more tempo to the game. In the third period, we really battled.”

Both were on the second night of back-to-back games. The Wild started slow, but came back to outplay the Blues over the final two periods.

Brian Elliott was the difference in the second and third periods, including a reaching, stick save on Mikael Granlund, who otherwise had a wide open net.

“They just kept pressuring and pressuring us,” Oshie said of the second period. “We weren’t making the extra effort to get the puck out of the zone. We weren’t making flat passes to get out of our own zone. That created turnovers and momentum on their side. Without (Elliott), we might have gotten out of that period down 5-2.

He’s stolen games for us in the past. He stole two points for us tonight.”

The Wild (34-22-8) were able to tie the game on Matt Moulson’s first goal as a member of the team. He put a hit on Kevin Shattenkirk behind the Blues net that created a turnover and Mikko Koivu hit Moulson right on the stick for the tap-in goal.

“I thought, maybe, he would be throwing it to the net,” Moulson said. “I gave a glance over there and put my stick down. He put (the puck) right off it and in. Obviously, he is a pretty good player, very intelligent. It was a great play.”

Jason Pominville got the scoring started for the Wild with a rifle sharp-angle shot from the bottom of the face-off circle that beat Elliot cleanly.

The two teams failed to score in a frantic-paced third period and overtime, including a Wild power play that carried over into the extra session.

Bryzgalov, making his first start for the Wild, does not have very good shootout numbers - now four goals in five attempts this season and 61.5 percent save percentage in shootouts for his career. His task was to stop Oshie and Alexander Steen, but only got a piece of both shots. Oshie was credited with the winner, but felt fortunate to see it hit the back of the net.

“I think I was talking to (Parise) about the (move) tonight over in Sochi,” Oshie said. “He might have told (Bryzgalov) what it was because it seemed like he had me on it. I got a little lucky. I don’t know how it went in. It must have just squeaked inside the post.”

The Wild return to action Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers at the Xcel Energy Center.

Three Stars

No. 3 - Jason Pominville. The Wild forward scored a goal.

No. 2 - T.J. Oshie. The Blues forward scored a goal.

No. 1 - Brian Elliott. The Blues goaltender stopped 17 shots.

Boxscore

St. Louis…..…2 0 0 0 - 3

Minnesota……0 2 0 0 - 2

First Period - 1, St. Louis, Oshie 16 (Steen, Shattenkirk), 3:37 (pp). 2, St. Louis, Colaiacovo 1 (Schwartz, Tarasenko), 8:30. Penalties - Ott, STL, major (fighting), 2:00; Brodziak, MIN, major (fighting), 2:00; Pominville, MIN (interference), 2:47; Morrow, STL (interference), 3:57.

Second Period - 3, Minnesota, Pominville 23 (Parise, Suter), 3:11. 4, Minnesota, Moulson 18 (Koivu), 7:03. Penalties - Colaiacovo, STL (slashing), 13:25.

Third Period - None. Penalties - Parise, MIN (cross checking), 10:24; Berglund, STL (roughing), 18:31.

Overtime - None. Penalties - None.

Shootout - St. Louis: Oshie (goal), Steen (goal). Minnesota: Parise (save), Koivu (miss).

Shots on goal - St. Louis 6-3-10-3 22. Minnesota 5-7-6-1 19.

Goalies - St. Louis, Elliott (17-19). Minnesota, Bryzgalov (20-22). Referees - Kyle Rehman, Brad Watson. Linesmen - Matt MacPherson, Steve Miller.