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St. Louis Blues take 3-0 series lead over Minnesota Wild

By
Rob Rains, The Sports Xchange
Linesman Trent Knorr tries to seperate St. Louis Blues David Perron from Minnesota Wild Zach Parise in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 16, 2017. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Linesman Trent Knorr tries to seperate St. Louis Blues David Perron from Minnesota Wild Zach Parise in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 16, 2017. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

ST. LOUIS -- Jaden Schwartz scored a power-play goal late in the second period to send the St. Louis Blues to a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday and give them a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

The 3-0 lead is the first for the Blues in a playoff series since the conference semifinals in 2001, when they swept the Dallas Stars.

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The goal was the second of the series for Schwartz. He converted a pass from Alexander Steen from behind the net to snap a 1-1 tie at 15:19 of the second period while the Wild's Ryan White was serving a minor high-sticking penalty against Schwartz.

It was the first power-play goal in the series for the Blues in nine opportunities.

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Jake Allen, who stopped 74 of 76 Minnesota shots in the first two games on the road, made 40 saves, including 19 in the third period, as the Blues once again stymied the high-scoring Minnesota offense which finished second in the NHL in the regular season with 266 goals.

Steen scored into an empty net with 1:11 to play for the final Blues' goal.

Colton Parayko gave the Blues the early lead just 3:25 into the opening period as he beat goalie Devan Dubnyk with a wrist shot after a perfect set up by Patrik Berglund. It was his third career playoff goal and his first goal this season since Feb. 2.

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It was the first goal scored by either team in the first period in the series. Three of the six goals for the Blues in the series have been scored by their defensemen.

A pair of minor penalties on Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson put the Wild on the power play twice in the second period, but they could not capitalize. They are now 1-for-8 with a man advantage in the series and have not led at any point in the three games.

The Wild finally tied the score at 12:59 of the second period. Charlie Coyle knocked in a rebound of a shot by Zach Parise, the first even-strength goal by the Wild in the series. It was his sixth career playoff goal for Coyle.

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NOTES: The Blues did not make any changes to their lineup, meaning C Jori Lehtera was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game. ... C Eric Haula was in the lineup for the Wild after missing practice on Saturday. He was drilled into the boards during Friday night's game. ... The Wild did make two changes to their lineup, scratching D Christian Folin and C Joel Eriksson Ek and inserting C Ryan White and D Nate Prosser. ... Because of the break in the schedule before game four, the Wild returned to Minnesota after the game. They will fly back to St. Louis on Tuesday before Wednesday night's game, which will begin at 8:30 p.m. CDT.

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