Joel Edmundson played the unlikely overtime hero for the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.
But make no mistake, the only reason Game 1 of this series between the Blues and Minnesota Wild even went to extra time was because of the play of Jake Allen.
The Wild dominated in every aspect of this game.
Puck possession? Check.
Scoring chances? Check.
But they couldn’t outscore the Blues — at least not tonight — and that was because of Allen. Remember all the issues in net he was having earlier in the season? That seems so, so long ago now.
Allen was brilliant, backing St. Louis to a 2-1 victory and a 1-0 series lead on the road.
The Blues were badly outshot 52-26 but their netminder stopped all but one shot he faced and, at times, did so in spectacular fashion — like the second-period stop he made on Charlie Coyle, throwing out the glove and stacking the pads on a prime scoring chance in front.
There was an overtime scramble in which Allen somehow kept the puck out of the net.
There was also an insane scramble around his crease in the third period. After he made the initial save, it appeared Zach Parise inadvertently curled the puck off the goal line and back out toward the slot, as St. Louis escaped another scare in the defensive end.
Parise redeemed himself by scoring the tying goal with 22 seconds left, finally solving Allen and sending this game to OT. But Edmundson won it and Allen was rewarded for a 51-save effort. ‘Effort’ is a bit of an understatement.
Back from the KHL, having signed a three-year deal in St. Louis last week, Vladimir Sobotka scored the opening goal.