As much as the St. Louis Blues dominated the Minnesota Wild in game one, the Blues were dominated just as much in game two. Read our preview below for game three.
The series moves to the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri for game three of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After being shut out in game one, the Minnesota Wild responded on Wednesday evening with a 6-2 victory. How will the St. Louis Blues respond this evening after having their doors blown off on Wednesday?
Game one featured a fantastic team performance by the Blues. The two standout performances by Ville Husso and David Perron lead to the 4-0 road victory. Perron scored a hat-trick and almost scored all three goals on the power-play.
Game two featured the Minnesota Wild putting on a clinic early after forcing St. Louis into a few mistakes. A broken stick and two power-plays later, Minnesota led 3-0. St. Louis would eventually put two goals on the board but Minnesota slammed the door shut with two more goals of their own.
What will we see from both teams tonight in game three of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Bad breaks and bad penalties
The first goal came on a bad break when the stick of Robert Bortuzzo snapped on a pass attempting to clear the zone. The puck went right to the Wild and allowed Joel Eriksson Ek to score his first of two goals.
ONE SHOT. ONE GOAL. LET'S GO. #ItsAboutWinning pic.twitter.com/5EORP2RvGY
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) May 5, 2022
After surviving on Monday night when Minnesota finished 0-6 on the power-play, the Wild scored two goals on the power-play in game two. Both power-play goals came on bad penalties taken by Justin Faulk. The power-plays truly hurt St. Louis because their defense was already shorthanded due to injuries.
Injuries are piling up
Nick Leddy sat out game two and is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Marco Scandella has been out since April 29 with a lower-body injury. On Wednesday night, Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo was hit in the face by a puck after dropping to the ice to block a shot.
Robert Bortuzzo just took the puck off his face. Ouch. #Mnwild #ItsAboutWinning #stlblues pic.twitter.com/hVlKxwas3i
— Nick Lewis 3️⃣7️⃣ (@NickLewis37) May 5, 2022
Bortuzzo immediately left the ice and headed straight to the locker room and never returned. It is highly unlikely that Bortuzzo plays tonight in game three. In reaction to the three injuries, St. Louis recalled Steven Santini from Springfield on Thursday.
Game three notes
While Minnesota had a bad year on the power-play and penalty-kill, St. Louis cannot afford to take bad penalties. We saw on Wednesday that Faulk and the defense cannot afford to take penalties. On a roster and defense that is already missing top players, they have to stay out of the box to give themselves a chance in game three.
Husso has to be better as well in game three. Game two is not entirely his fault because his team put him in a few bad spots but there were definitely a few shots that Husso could have saved. If he is able to keep Minnesota at three goals or less, St. Louis will have a real shot in this game.
The Blues have to be comfortable about playing from behind. Minnesota is a very talented team that can put you behind early as they did in game two. After it was 3-0 at the end of one on Wednesday, the game was pretty well over.
If they fall behind, they have to keep it within two goals or so and they need to stay competitive.
One thing is for certain and we know that it will be a loud, boisterous crowd tonight insides the Enterprise Center. Check out the news below for a special surprise.
Game three information
Location: Enterprise Center – St. Louis, MO
Puck drop: 8:30 p.m. CT
TV: Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports App, TNT
Radio: 101.1 ESPN St. Louis, NHL App
Game three lines by DraftKings
Spread: St. Louis -1.5
Money Line: St. Louis -120
Colten’s Bet of the Day
St. Louis -120 and Pavel Bucnevich anytime scorer +215 (+340 total odds)
Bet $10 and win $44
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