Blues’ Allen: ‘We’ve dug ourselves a hole, now it’s time to get out of it’

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The St. Louis Blues couldn’t generate much of anything, just 17 shots on goal on Devan Dubnyk by the end of Monday’s game, and now trail the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in their opening-round series.

That led to plenty of frustration from the Blues after losing to the Wild and having trouble with Minnesota’s team speed in Game 3.

“They’re a team that’s going to be there from the start to the finish. They battle, every single line,” said goalie Jake Allen, as per a video on the Blues’ website.

“I think we’ve got to realize that now and we can’t let the ball slip anymore. That’s the way they play, one of the best teams in the league since Christmas. They had a slow start to the year but since Christmas, they’ve probably been one of the top one or two teams in the league. We’ve got our work cut out for us. We’ve dug ourselves a hole and now it’s time to get out of it.”

At the other end of the rink, Dubnyk didn’t see many pucks his way, but he stopped every shot he faced for his first playoff shutout.

The Wild struck quickly with a pair of goals from Jason Pominville and Zach Parise just 2:05 apart in the second period, taking the lead and they wouldn’t give it up.

“I’ve seen some pretty incredible performances here at home by us,” Dubnyk told the Pioneer Press. “And this ranks right up there with them. There just weren’t any mistakes.”

Video: Wild chase the Blues away to take series lead

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How quickly things can change in playoff hockey.

The Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues were involved in a tight, scoreless hockey game late in the second period before the host team suddenly took control on the score board. The Wild would eventually earn a 3-0 victory over the Blues to take a 2-1 series lead.

First it was Jason Pominville who got the Wild on the board, tapping the puck into a wide open net on a terrific feed in front. Just over two minutes later, Zach Parise gave Minny a two-goal lead with his first goal of the series, as he found a loose puck amongst a multitude of skates and snapped his shot top corner on Jake Allen.

The trio of Pominville, Parise and Mikael Granlund combined for six points.

That’s all the scoring the Wild would need. Minnesota put on a smothering defensive clinic, allowing just 17 shots on goalie Devan Dubnyk all night.

Dubnyk, who was critical of himself after making a mistake on the Blues’ second goal in Game 2, didn’t allow anything, either. He stopped all 17 shots he faced to record his first career Stanley Cup playoff shutout.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight

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A quick look at what games will be on what channels in tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action…

Rangers at Penguins, 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN

After earning a split at New York’s MSG on Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins look to take their first series lead in Game 3 tonight. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby recorded his first multi-goal playoff game since Game 1 of the 2013 playoffs – he had just one goal in 13 postseason contests last year. The Rangers, who owned the league’s best road record during the regular season, will look to retake the lead in the series at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center. New York was 28-11-2 away from the garden during the season and won 15 of its last 18 road contests. Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire will have the call.

Blues at Wild, 8 p.m. ET on CNBC

The St. Louis Blues hope to build on Vladimir Tarasenko’s first career playoff hat trick as their series with the Wild shifts to Minnesota knotted at one. Tarasenko’s three-goal performance led the way for the Blues in Saturday’s 4-1 victory. The Wild went 12-5-0 on home ice after acquiring goaltender Devan Dubnyk on Jan. 14, but dropped three straight at Xcel Energy Center to close out the regular season.

Ducks at Jets, 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN

For the first time since 1996 the city of Winnipeg will host an NHL playoff game tonight as the Jets look for the franchise’s first postseason victory. Third period penalties have hurt the Jets in the first two games of the series. Ryan Getzlaf scored the insurance marker on a power play in Game 1 giving the Ducks a 4-2 win and Patrick Maroon scored the game-tying goal with Andrew Ladd in the box in Game 2.

PHT Morning Skate: Randy Caryle is ‘ready to coach again’

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

With three NHL teams already looking for a new head coach and more openings likely coming, Randy Carlyle is hoping to get back behind the bench soon. Caryle was fired by the Leafs in January after leading Toronto to a 21-16-3 record. (The Winnipeg Free Press)

Editor’s Note: Play one-day fantasy hockey tonight! Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $20,000 league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $2,000. Starts tonight at 7:00pm ET. Play Now!

The Chicago Blackhawks unveiled a new on-ice video prior to Game 3 celebrating the club’s current roster and storied history.

Ryan Kennedy believes Vladimir Tarasenko could be the missing piece in the Blues Stanley Cup puzzle. (The Hockey News)

Most NHL clubs give out some sort of team “player of the game” award following each win. After the Ducks Game 1 victory on Thursday night, captain Ryan Getzlaf did something a little different.

Ilya Kovalchuk and SKA captured the Gagarin Cup over the weekend. (KHL)

Wild goalie Dubnyk pays for ‘mistake’ in Game 2

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Devan Dubnyk has been sensational and one of the main reasons for the Minnesota Wild’s mid-season turnaround that landed that club in the playoffs.

But on Saturday, he was caught leaning slightly off his post to his left and Vladimir Tarasenko buried his shot on Dubnyk from a bad angle, giving the St. Louis Blues a two-goal lead in a game they would eventually win to even the first-round series with Minnesota.

Dubnyk admitted to his error afterward.

“That’s just a mistake by me. It’s not a good goal,” Dubnyk told NHL.com. “I came off my post on a guy (who) likes to shoot, who’s got a pretty good shot and he made me pay for it. That’s a mistake by me that cost me a goal against. Make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Despite going down two goals after the first period, the Wild scored early in the third and then had a chance to tie the game later on, but couldn’t convert. Charlie Coyle’s shot off the cross bar hit the backside of Jake Allen and trickled toward the goal line, but David Backes pulled the puck away from the net, maintaining the Blues’ lead.

The Wild still get the split in St. Louis, with the series shifting back to Minnesota.

“Listen, we would’ve loved to have won both games in here,” said Minnesota’s coach Mike Yeo, as per a video on the club’s website.

“But when it comes down to it, I think we can take some confidence out of the fact that we won the one game and played pretty strong in the second game and even to battle back against a team that’s tough to generate offence against. That’s a pretty good sign.”