Eric Staal opened the scoring with his 400th career goal and the visiting Minnesota Wild cruised from there to an easy 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.
The 34-year-old Staal became the sixth active player in the NHL to reach the 400-goal mark. The others are Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, Ilya Kovalchuk, Sidney Crosby and Marian Gaborik.
Nick Seeler added his first career goal to go with two assists for the Wild. Minnesota also received goals from J.T. Brown, Matt Dumba and Eric Fehr en route to its seventh win in the past eight games.
Ryan O’Reilly scored the Blues’ lone goal as St. Louis’ two-game winning streak came to an end.
The Wild dominated the contest with a 45-16 advantage in shots on goal. Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 15 saves to improve to 6-2-2.
On the opposite side of the rink, Blues goaltender Jake Allen turned aside 40 shots but fell to 4-3-3.
Minnesota opened the scoring on Staal’s milestone goal at 4:42 of the first period. He won a faceoff in the Wild’s offensive zone and turned to his backhand to deflect a shot past Allen moments later. Teammates quickly surrounded him to celebrate his achievement after 14-plus seasons in the league.
Another milestone goal put Minnesota ahead 2-0 later in the first. Seeler raised his stick and ripped a booming slap shot from the top of the left circle for his first goal in 35 games in the NHL.
St. Louis cut the deficit to 2-1 on O’Reilly’s fourth goal with 8:28 to go in the first. Vladimir Tarasenko set up the goal with a pass across the slot to O’Reilly, who quickly buried a wrist shot.
The Wild made it 3-1 on a breakaway goal by Brown with 1:51 remaining in the first.
Dumba’s fourth goal of the season increased Minnesota’s advantage to 4-1 late in the second. Mikael Granlund picked up an assist on the play to extend his point streak to 10 games.
Fehr capped the scoring with 10:45 to play in the third period. It was his second goal of the season, both of which have come in the past 10 days.
—Field Level Media