Vladimir Tarasenko started the scoring for the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, and he finished it, too.
The 23-year-old winger, a rising star for the Blues, recorded his first career Stanley Cup playoff hat trick and St. Louis evened its series with the Minnesota Wild thanks to a 4-1 win in Game 2.
Tarasenko struck twice late in the first period with his goals coming less than five minutes apart to give the Blues an early lead. One came off a deflection from an Alex Steen shot, as Tarasenko was cruising in front of the net. The second, however, is one goalie Devan Dubnyk would probably like to have back.
With Dubnyk leaning slightly to his left, Tarasenko beat him with a quick shot from a bad angle to up the Blues’ lead. He added another into an empty net with 17 seconds remaining.
The hats followed.
The Wild actually had a chance to tie this game in the third period.
With less than nine minutes remaining, seconds after Charlie Coyle waltzed around T.J. Oshie and then rang his shot off the cross bar, David Backes pulled the puck off the goal line and Jake Allen covered it up with Minnesota players buzzing around his net, taking away what could’ve been the equalizer. That close to tying it up.
St. Louis Blues’ sniper Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice in the first period to give the Blues a 2-0 lead.
The 23-year-old opened the scoring tipping home an Alex Steen feed at 13:18 for his first of the playoffs.
Less than five minutes later, Tarasenko caught Devan Dubnyk off the post just enough to sneak a shot short side on the Wild starter.
Steen and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk have the assists on both goals.
The 2015 Stanley Cup playoff schedule includes four games today beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to bounce back after falling 3-2 in Game 1 on Thursday night. The Bolts out-shot the Wings 46-16, but struggled to beat Detroit starter Petr Mrazek.
Pavel Datsyuk had his first multigoal playoff game since 2010 as Detroit handed Tampa its fifth straight postseason loss. Five of the six Tampa Bay playoff losses have been by one goal.
Puck drop is at 3 p.m. ET. You can also watch online via NBC Sports Live Extra.
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St. Louis will try to even up its best of seven with the Minnesota Wild tonight at Scottrade Center. The Blues have won just one of 19 series when losing Games 1 and 2.
Thursday’s 4-2 win was the Wild’s first Game 1 win since April 2003. With the win the Wild improved to 2-9 in their last 11 road playoff games.
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