|Date of game: 4/10/2014
Recap: Minnesota vs. St. Louis
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyle Brodziak scored two goals to help the Minnesota Wild end a nine-game losing streak against the St. Louis Blues with a 4-2 win at Xcel Energy Center.
Nino Niederreiter added a goal and one assist for the Wild, who are streaking into the playoffs. Minnesota, which had previously clinched the Western Conference's first wild card spot, has won four straight and picked up at least a point in its last seven games (6-0-1).
John Curry, the fifth goalie to start a game for the Wild this season, made 43 saves in his debut with the club.
"He's a gamer and a battler. He showed that tonight. Obviously, very pleased for him. It was a long road back for him," Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo said about Curry.
While Minnesota is rolling, St. Louis saw its losing streak grow to a season- worst four straight. The Blues were leapfrogged by Colorado for first place in the Central Division. Both teams have 111 points, but the Avalanche have more non-shootout wins.
Ryan Miller was pulled in the third period after allowing four goals on just 13 shots.
The tone of the game changed in the second period, when Minnesota forward Mike Rupp caught St. Louis forward T.J. Oshie with a shoulder to the head.
The hit, which occurred on a delayed high-sticking penalty to Wild defenseman Marco Scandella, drew a match penalty and gave the Blues a two-minute 5-on-3 power play at 10:30.
"Obviously, (Oshie) is out. He's like everything else at this time of year, he's day-to-day, but certainly a tough hit to take right now," said Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock.
St. Louis defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored on the ensuing two-man advantage, tying the game at 1-1 at 11:05.
Not much went right for the Blues during the rest of the power play.
The Wild quickly reclaimed the lead with a shorthanded goal. Brodziak, who hadn't scored since March 8, buried the rebound of a Matt Cooke shot at 12:24.
St. Louis, however, tied it with a shorthanded tally of its own.
Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter mishandled the puck at the offensive blue line, resulting in a rush for the Blues. Jaden Schwartz converted a feed from Alexander Steen at 16:01 of the second.
The Wild moved back ahead seconds after the power play ended, as Matt Moulson put home a saucer pass from Dany Heatley with 2:30 left in the second.
Brodziak scored his second goal 58 seconds into the third period for a 4-2 advantage.
The Blues had a healthy 17-5 shot advantage in the first period, but found themselves trailing 1-0 on Niederreiter's deflection goal at 14:02.Game Notes
Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu played in his 600th career NHL game ... Curry
played in his fifth career NHL game and first since Jan. 16, 2010 as a member
of the Pittsburgh Penguins ... St. Louis' last four-game losing streak came
during a five-game slide from Feb. 1-11 last season ... Blues captain David
Backes missed the game with a lower-body injury ... Wild defenseman Christian
Folin made his NHL debut.