Dubnyk, Wild beat Blues 2-0 to avoid elimination


Jordan Schroeder and Christian Folin will likely be health scratches.

Game two was far more cleaned up for both sides as the Wild edged out the Blues in shots (24-22) but still were downed in a 2-1 St. Louis victory.

The Blues goalie has been standing on his head this series. I have a theory as to why Blues fans may be more exhausted of that theory than a different fan base but more on that later.

Coach Mike Yeo said Stastny is day-to-day. I agree. The Blues are fortunate to be up 3-0 instead of being up 2-1. Yes, it is possible to take too simplistic of a view of advanced statistics and draw incorrect conclusions.

ABOUT THE BLUES: Jaden Schwartz has recorded a goal in each of the last two games and a point in all three contests while Patrik Berglund has registered three assists along with a plus-3 rating. They're not built to score a ton of goals quickly.

Score First: The Wild need some sign of a breakthrough. "I don't know that we've had a ton of looks; we'd certainly like to get some more opportunities, some more shots".

The NHL doesn't track the success rate of teams in killing off sixth attackers, so it's hard to say where the Blues stand in comparison to others, but the Blues allowed just four goals in 32 times teams pulled their goalie against them in the regular season, with two of those goals being scored by the Wild. "You look at the shot volume and that's been a key factor in that". Note: We mean you Jake Allen.

A loss would result in the Wild being eliminated in Round 1 three of the last five seasons. That, plus shooting lower on Allen to generate some rebounds, could lead to the kind of "garbage" or "greasy" goals that always seem to crop up in key moments in the National Hockey League playoffs. I would suggest this is hardly dominant enough to suggest a team should have won.

A prickly Wild coach Bruce Boudreau refused to give an inch in the hours before Wednesday's must-win game against the Blues, insisting he hasn't changed his lines in response to a 3-0 deficit in Minnesota's best-of-seven first-round playoff series with the Blues.

With a lead, the Blues can collapse back into their own end and smother offensive rushes, waiting for the one breakdown or opening that allows them to counter-attack the other way.

That game was goaltending optional, and this series is all about the goaltending. Eric Staal was centering Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund; Mikko Koivu was centering Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise; Martin Hanzal was centering Jason Zucker and Jason Pominville; and Eriksson Ek was centering Chris Stewart and Ryan White when the puck dropped at 8:30 p.m.at the Scottrade Center. "And that's gonna be the same thing on Saturday, because if not, it's over, and we're not gonna think any further ahead than that", Dubnyk said. No one understands that better than the netminder himself. Sometimes it was thought that they ran into a hot goaltender (Jonathan Quick for example). "[The games] have been that close and we've had our chances, and we've had some that just found a way to stay out of the net". However you slice it, Blues fans are familiar with seeing their team lead the shooting gallery but trail the scoreboard. There isn't a need given the series sits at 3-0. For now, though, he'll be missing yet another game. But the Blues plan was to keep those shots high and/or wide in the Blues' defensive zone - spots that aren't high-percentage scoring areas.

- The top 3 goalies in save percentage are all in the western conference. Three of the four teams went to the Stanley Cup Final.