Dumba, Dubnyk help Wild net OT win over Blues
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Trying to find ways to improve in the three-on-three overtimes, Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau has looked at many options.
Boudreau said the analytics of the extra session have been discussed internally within the team. He’s used two defensemen on the ice at the same time and knows speed is important with the wide-open ice.
Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba has the speed his coach sought and used it Saturday.
Dumba scored 39 seconds into overtime as the Wild beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1.
“Matt looked like he was shot out of a cannon when he picked up the puck,” Boudreau said.
Dumba poked home a rebound after Charlie Coyle’s initial shot was stopped by St. Louis goaltender Jake Allen. It was Dumba’s second goal of the season as Minnesota won its second straight game and avenged a 6-3 loss to the Blues last week.
The Wild earned their first win in the three-on-three overtime. They had lost their two previous overtime games and split two games in the shootout this season.
“I just knew there was going to be ice in front of me,” Dumba said. “There’s only three guys out there, so you might as well get it moving up ice. I told (fellow defenseman Jonas Brodin) from the get-go I would be going up ice and taking those chances. It just worked that Charlie was coming with me. I was able to get it to him, and after that, it was kind of a blur.”
Ryan Suter added his fourth goal of the season and Devan Dubnyk made 41 saves for Minnesota.
Patrik Berglund scored his second goal in as many contests for St. Louis, which has lost four of its past five games. The Blues outshot the Wild 42-25, reaching 40 shots in a game for the fourth time in six contests.
“It looked a lot more like us, yeah,” St. Louis coach Mike Yeo said. “Obviously not the result we wanted, but the zone time, the shots, the looks that we got, possession time, I think we looked much more aggressive in our game.”
Jake Allen made 23 saves for the Blues, who were 4-0-0 in the second game of back-to-back contests this season and had won 12 straight in such situations before losing to Los Angeles and Minnesota the past two nights.
Both teams had plenty of chances in regulation, particularly late. Minnesota killed off two penalties in the last 10 minutes and St. Louis thwarted one with four minutes remaining.
Suter opened the scoring just 4:26 into the game when he collected a rebound, skated around the goal and had his centering attempt go off Allen’s skate into the net. Allen kicked the puck as he slid backward.
It’s the third straight game the Blues have allowed a goal in the first five minutes.
“Obviously, you want to focus on playing defense and that’s how this team is built,” Suter said. “And when we get that opportunity to score, we need to be able to. We’ve been finding ways to get some goals.”
Berglund scored on the power play near the end of the second period. It’s just the third power-play goal in 40 chances against the Wild at home this season.
It was Berglund’s second goal in three games since returning from offseason shoulder surgery. He was second on the team with a career-high 23 goals last season.
“Obviously we wanted to win the game, we wanted to score more goals than one but from the previous two games, in my opinion, this was step forward,” Berglund said.
NOTES: D Nate Prosser was in the lineup for the Minnesota for the first time after being claimed off waivers on Thursday from St. Louis. Prosser played in one game for the Blues this season. ... Wild D Jared Spurgeon is out at least two weeks with a groin strain. He won’t play on the team’s upcoming three-game road trip. ... St. Louis rookie D Vince Dunn was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. ... The Blues split up their top-scoring line with RW Vladimir Tarasenko joining a line with C Paul Stastny and LW Vladimir Sobotka. Alexander Steen took the right wing spot with LW Jaden Schwartz and C Brayden Schenn.