February 28, 2018 / 4:06 AM / 25 days ago

Staal scores hat trick as Wild romp over Blues

Eric Staal collected three goals and five points and Jason Zucker potted one goal and had four assists as the Minnesota Wild recorded their fifth-straight win with an 8-3 thumping of the struggling St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night in St. Paul, Minn.

Mikael Granlund, the third member of Minnesota’s top line, scored twice in a four-point game at Xcel Energy Center as the Wild tied a franchise record for most goals in a game. Goalie Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves in the victory.

It didn’t take long to see the Wild were destined to continue their hot streak. Zucker deflected Ryan Suter’s point shot past Jake Allen to open the scoring on a power play just 2:57 into the game. Then Granlund doubled the lead at 7:13 when Staal’s shot ricocheted off him and into the cage.

After Vladimir Tarasenko gave the Blues a jolt of life at 9:59, which snapped his team’s goal-scoring drought at 150 minutes and 23 seconds, Granlund potted his second goal of the game at 11:17 of the high-scoring opening frame. That spelled the end of Allen’s night, the victim of three goals on eight shots.

St. Louis received a bit of life when Alex Pietrangelo scored 15 seconds into the second period to cut the Wild lead to 3-2, but it was pretty much all Minnesota from that point onward.

Staal scored his first goal of the game at 8:19 of the middle frame, burying a rebound to make it 4-2, then Mikko Koivu converted a beautiful feed from Charlie Coyle at the 17:07 mark to make it a 5-2 affair.

Tarasenko netted his second of the game at 18:32 of the middle frame, but any Blues hopes for a comeback were dashed when Jared Spurgeon restored the Wild’s three-goal edge with 16 seconds remaining in the period.

Staal scored a pair of third-period goals to give him seven goals and 12 points in a five-game scoring spree.

Hutton stopped 20 of 25 shots in his relief appearance for the Blues, who have lost five straight games in regulation and are winless in seven (0-6-1).

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