Robert Thomas scored 1:27 into overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night.
Thomas caught a pass from Vladimir Tarasenko and scored on a slap shot from the left faceoff circle.
“It was a good speed game,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. “Thomas came off the bench and got the puck in our own zone and he carried it down the ice with speed, a nice ‘X’ play, and then Vladi had a great read on it. Vladi was looking to shoot but he saw Thomas slipping there and made a great play.”
The Blues overcame a 3-1 deficit to tie Central Division Minnesota in the battle for home ice in the first round of the playoffs.
“We were physical tonight, we were involved.” said Berube. “It’s a good team. They play hard and they obviously have very good skills there and a lot of big players playing physically.
Brayden Schenn, Pavel Buchnevich and Justin Faulk also scored for St. Louis, and Ville Husso made 35 saves.
Faulk fired a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle at 4:16 of the third to bring the Blues within one.
“They’re a tough team to play against, that’s for sure,” Faulk said. “We appreciate that as competitors – you like a team that’s going to come and play hard. And they did and we stepped up.
Schenn tied the game with 9:32 to play. He skated down the left side, cut to center goalie Cam Talbot with a backhand.
“I had juice and energy and kind of picked up a bit of speed,” Schenn said. “I just tried to test the defender and it worked that time. I think the guys know what’s at stake, the guys know how serious these points are and are trying to make a statement against the other team. You have to be ready for those and the guys were.
Minnesota coach Dean Evason didn’t like seeing his team spit a two-goal lead in the third period.
“The last two goals in regular time weren’t great goals for us as a team,” Evason said. “We didn’t make them win those two.”
Kirill Kaprizov scored his 41st goal for Minnesota to close in on a goal to tie the Wild season record held by Marian Gaborik (2007-08) and Eric Staal (2017-18). Kevin Fiala and Jacob Middleton also scored for Minnesota.
“I thought we were going to win this game, you know,” Fiala said. “I think they’re a skilled team, you know, a heavy team too. They just move the puck well. There’s nothing we can’t beat, you know, so for sure.
Talbot made 24 saves for the Wild.
“It turned out that we played well. We didn’t get the result we wanted,” Evason said. “Obviously we messed up in extra time. We have an overtime system and we haven’t done it. We ended up being marked. ”
The Blues are on a four-game winning streak and are on a 6-0-1 streak.
Wild: Host Los Angeles on Sunday.
Blues: Host the New York Islanders on Saturday night.
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