x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Blues close in on play-off spot

The St Louis Blues moved to within a point of a play-off berth in the tight Western Conference standings with a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild.

ST. LOUIS // The St Louis Blues moved to within a point of a playoff berth in the tight Western Conference standings with a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. The Blues scored three of their goals on power plays, which had counted against Minnesota their coach Jacques Lemaire said. "We had penalties at the wrong time," Lemaire said. "We had two penalties and they got three goals. They scored two on 5-on-3 and one 4-on-3.

"We've got to try and play at our best and make the least mistakes possible." The Blues pulled into a tie for 10th in the West with the Wild on 72 points, leaving them just one point behind Edmonton and Nashville for the final play-off spot with 13 games remaining. "You hardly ever see that against a team like Minnesota, giving up that many penalties and us capitalising on them," said the Blues' Keith Tkachuk.

"It was huge. We got some quality opportunities on the 5-on-3s. That was nice. "Every game we play now is so important because of the standings so this was a huge win for us." David Perron, Brad Boyes, David Backes, Brad Winchester and Tkachuk scored for the Blues while Chris Mason made 19 saves. The Wild trailed 4-1 while being outshot 29-11 over the first two periods, before they scored twice in the third period.

Boyes, however, scored into an empty net in the final minute to seal the win. "We came back strong in the third period, but we have to play better than we did in the first two periods if we are going to win games," Lemaire said. *Reuters