Blues bolster playoff hopes after stunning Wild with late rally

Heading into the third period, it looked like the Wild might give themselves a chance to make noise at the top of the West Division, and hurt the Blues’ playoff chances in the process. Then that third period happened.

Not only did the Blues rally back from a 3-1 deficit, but with Robert Thomas‘ goal with less than 30 seconds left, the Wild didn’t even receive a “charity point.” That Thomas goal made it 4-3 for the Blues over the Wild.

Blues bolster West Division playoff hopes, beat Wild in regulation

Thanks to this rally, the Blues broke the Wild’s seven-game winning streak; St. Louis extended its own run to three in a row.

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t the end of the world for the Wild, although there was an outside chance that they could move up a spot (maybe even two) in the West Division. Through 40 minutes, the Wild indeed looked like a team you shouldn’t overlook.

[Why you shouldn’t overlook the Wild]

But the Blues continue to play their best hockey with their backs against the wall. The Blues’ rally really kicked off when Mike Hoffman scored his second power-play goal of the game, reducing the Wild lead to 3-2:

The Blues tied things up 3-3 less than eight minutes into the third, then stunned the Wild with that late Robert Thomas goal.

Thanks to this win, the Blues improved to 22-19-6, with 50 points in 47 games played. The Coyotes hope to stay close by beating the Sharks later on Wednesday, but even if Arizona wins, they’ll trail by at least a standings point and have a games in hand disadvantage. (Entering Wednesday, the Coyotes are 21-23-5 for 47 points with 49 games played.)

Nope, it hasn’t always been pretty for St. Louis this season. Still, if two impressive wins vs. the Avs weren’t enough, this rally against the Wild also reminded opponents not to take the Blues lightly.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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