Jake Allen didn’t have the kind of start one would expect with his team on the brink of elimination.
Allen gave up a shorthanded marker to Zach Parise at 7:14 of the first period from a horrible angle.
“The young guy is learning, we got to stick with him,” Ken Hitchcock told Brian Engblom during a stoppage in play.
It didn’t take long for Hitchcock to change his mind.
At 11:19 of the second, Justin Fontaine beat Allen five-hole on a shot he should’ve had.
Hitchcock had seen in enough replacing Allen with Brian Elliott.
Elliott has not played in the series with his last appearance coming on April 11.
Allen allowed two goals on 13 shots.
Elliott’s last playoff action came during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 when the Blues lost in six games of the first round to the L.A. Kings.
With Justin Fontaine in the box for tripping, Zach Parise opened the scoring with his second of the playoffs.
Matt Cooke started the play by causing Kevin Shattenkirk to turn the puck over at the Wild blue line.
Parise then beat Blues’ starter Jake Allen from a bad angle.
It makes one wonder…
Parise is the sixth player in franchise history to score a shorthanded goal in the playoffs.
Minnesota is 2-0 in the series when scoring first.
The Minnesota Wild suffered one of the worst playoff losses in franchise history on Wednesday night — a 6-1 shellacking at home against St. Louis — and the day after, head coach Mike Yeo did a little posturing.
“There’s still pressure on them,” Yeo said Thursday, per the Pioneer Press. “They think that they’re much better than us, and it’s our job to prove we’re up at that level.”
As for last night?
“It’s not like we played our best hockey and came up short,” he explained.
That message stayed consistent with comments made in the immediate aftermath of Game 4 (basically, “we stunk, let’s move on.”) Zach Parise said his team was “brutal” and Yeo followed suit today, saying Minnesota has plenty more to give — which, apparently, will include a new lineup look for Game 5.
There’s no shortage of candidates to come out after Game 4. Sean Bergenheim played a team-low 10:11 and finished minus-2 on the night, and has been parked in the press box already this postseason. Veteran d-man Jordan Leopold had the fewest minutes among all blueliners and finished minus-3, and with the wealth of options Yeo has at his disposal — Matt Cooke, Jordan Schroeder, Erik Haula, Christian Folin and Nate Prosser all sat last game — there are plenty of new looks he could throw at St. Louis.
Related: Shattenkirk lighting it up as Blues play ‘our game’