The Minnesota Wild have been one of the NHL’s worst road teams this season, entering play on Tuesday night with a 10-15-1 mark away from the Xcel Energy Center and coming off of an ugly loss in Dallas on a few nights ago.
They were able to reverse that on Tuesday night with a rather thorough 6-2 thrashing of the St. Louis Blues.
Early on it looked like it was going to be more of the same for the Wild on the road when they gave up a goal to Jaden Schwartz just 45 seconds into the opening period.
Unlike previous road games this season where they might have fallen apart and let the game get away from them, they did not waste much time in correcting it.
Just 1:17 later Nino Niederreiter scored to tie the game and then the Wild proceeded to score five consecutive goals to run away with this one and pick up two huge points in the standings. It was a collective team effort for the Wild as starting goalie Devan Dubnyk stopped 35 of the 37 shots he faced (including more than 20 in the third period) and received goals from six different players, including Marcus Foligno, Matt Dumba, Zach Parise and Jason Zucker.
Mikko Koivu also scored in the win as he was able to find the back of the net for just the third time in the past 44 games.
It is a huge win for the Wild as it helps catapult them back into one of the playoff spots in the Western Conference for the time being.
They are now back into the second wild card spot with 63 points.
A couple of weeks ago we looked at the Wild’s Jekyll and Hyde act on the road and determined that, more than anything, they just need to play better everywhere if they are going to have a chance to make the playoffs. Tuesday’s win was a nice step in the right direction. Do not let the shot chart in this one fool you too much either, a lot of the Blues’ damage in that regard was done in the third period when the game was already well out of reach.
Minnesota now returns home — where they have one of the NHL’s best records — for five consecutive games starting on Thursday night.