Wild at Blues
The St. Louis Blues try for their third straight victory and second in as many nights when they host the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. St. Louis scored three times in the second period Saturday to erase a deficit and held on for a 4-3 triumph over the Stars in Dallas. The win came two days after Jaroslav Halak blanked the Nashville Predators for his second shutout of the young season.
Minnesota enters with a two-game losing streak after winning its first two contests of the campaign. Zach Parise scored a pair of goals on Friday and defenseman Tom Gilbert added a tally and an assist, but Minnesota dropped a 5-3 decision on the road to the Detroit Red Wings. Blue-liner Jonas Brodin, the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft, made his NHL debut against Detroit and recorded an assist.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2
ABOUT THE WILD (2-2-0): Minnesota needs to get scoring from somewhere other than its top line. Parise, Dany Heatley and captain Mikko Koivu have combined for six goals and eight assists. The rest of the team has totaled three goals and 10 assists. D Ryan Suter is one assist away from 200 for his career, while left wing Pierre-Marc Bouchard's next goal will be his 100th. Niklas Backstrom is expected to start in goal against St. Louis. He is 6-6-0 with one shutout in 12 career starts versus the Blues but didn't play in any of the four meetings between the teams last season.
ABOUT THE BLUES (4-1-0): St. Louis is looking to earn at least one point in its 10th consecutive home game against Minnesota. The Blues have outscored the Wild 26-15 while going 6-0-3 in their last nine meetings at Scottrade Center. Defenseman Wade Redden made his debut with the Blues after signing with the club last week and scored his first NHL goal since March 18, 2010 while with the New York Rangers. Captain David Backes' next goal will be his 127th, tying him with Al MacInnis for 16th place on the franchise list, while Halak is one shutout away from pulling even with Glenn Hall (16) for the franchise lead.
1. Blues D Barret Jackman's next game will be his 603rd, moving him past Larry Patey for sole possession of eighth place on the franchise list.
2. The Wild are 1-for-30 on the power play in their last nine visits to St. Louis.
3. St. Louis will have three days off before its next game after starting the season with six contests in nine days.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Wild 1.