Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Wild confident but know Game 2 is a must-win

Wild confident but know Game 2 is a must-win

"Believe me: I want to win more than any human on the planet".

Jake Guentzel had a hat trick, including a goal at 13:10 of overtime, to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night and give them a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

That starts - and maybe ends - with Game 4 on Wednesday at Scottrade Center.

Radulov, who got the overtime victor in Game 2 on Friday night after Tomas Plekanec tied it with 18 seconds left in regulation, has two goals and three assists in the past two games. Those two series ended in six games with a Blues loss.

Only one of the three goals against Allen, the one scored by Charlie Coyle on Sunday off a rebound, came when the teams were at even strength. In Game 1, he was the saviour. He converted a pass from Alexander Steen from behind the net to snap a 1-1 tie at 15:19 of the second period while the Wild's Ryan White was serving a minor high-sticking penalty against Schwartz.

ABOUT THE BLUES: Schwartz, who recorded 11 points in the last 11 games of the regular season, also notched an assist in Game 1 while linemate Vladimir Tarasenko has been held to one assist but shares the team lead with seven shots. "A huge win for us". "I don't think they would change the way they were playing if it was the first period, but if we had a one-goal lead in the third period, it might make a little bit of difference".

Allen was the star of the first two games. "We got two wins, you're definitely happy about that, but we need a little bit better effort and I think we're going to get it". Boudreau also made a decision to give his players a day off Monday and will conduct a practice Tuesday before returning to St. Louis. "I feel like we've got to do a better job at spreading them out". "That was one heck of a shot to kind of get us going there". "We got one more to finish this thing off". "So, quit trying to put words in our mouths that make us look like we're bad because we're not". The Blues starter has allowed two goals on 78 shots through the first two games, an incredible feat considering Allen's struggles earlier in the year. It was not to be however with Steen rubbing salt into the Wild's wounds with an empty netter, giving the Blues a 3-1 victory and cementing a 3-0 series lead. "Just let's get back at it, and let's go". "That's all it comes down to".

St. Louis Blues Coach Mike Yeo said before the start of his team's series against the Minnesota Wild that one player wouldn't win or lose the series for his team.

"He probably could have taken him out, but it was a good move and a great play", Boudreau said. "That's a good test against a good team. Trust me, I know what happened", he said.

"If you've been in this business long enough, you're not going to take your mind off it; it's an impossibility", Boudreau said during a lonely news conference at Xcel Energy Center. "But things aren't going the right way, so he's probably not playing with as much confidence as you'd like to think they'd be playing with".

The most concerning moment for Minnesota came in the final seconds of the period when left winger Erik Haula was cross-checked by Blues left winger Scottie Upshall and went headfirst into the side boards. C Eric Haula was in the lineup for the Wild after missing practice on Saturday.

Game 3 is Sunday night in NY. Keeping the Minnesota Wild forwards out of the crease was clearly a priority.

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