Yakupov made the difference for Blues vs. Wild

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The St. Louis Blues acquired Nail Yakupov in hopes that he’d be that extra game-breaker they’ve needed. He sure looked the part on Thursday night.

Yakupov scored his first goal as a member of the Blues on a rocket of a shot (see the video above) and then assistedĀ on Magnus Paajarvi‘s eventual game-winning goal.

He managed that goal and assist (not to mention three shots on goal) despite receiving just eight and a half minutes of ice time against the Wild.

That usage indicates that he still needs to gain Ken Hitchcock’s trust, but he might just force the veteran coach’s hand if he can enjoy more nights like these.

The Blues have to be happy with their performances beyond this promising work from Yakupov, by the way. Despite beating the Chicago Blackhawks the night before, the Blues managed a 31-21 shots on goal advantage against a more rested Wild team.