"That's about the best we can play," Wild coach Jacques
Lemaire said. "We're playing better and better and it's very
The Blues, fighting with Edmonton, Dallas and Vancouver for the
final Western Conference playoff position, came out listless.
Minnesota took advantage.
"Every game right now is a playoff game, and we left two
(points) on the table tonight," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said.
"I don't think we gave them away. There's 10 games left and
they're all playoff games as far as we're concerned."
Laaksonen was awarded the penalty shot after he was pulled down
by St. Louis defenseman Bryce Salvador at 2:33 of the third period.
On the penalty shot, Laaksonen put a back-handed shot past goalie
Brent Johnson for his 12th goal.
"You want to make the goalie move before you do and it worked
out real well today," Laaksonen said. "You have to think about
what you're going to do before you move in, and I did that and
Quenneville agreed with the call by referee Shane Heyer.
"If you put yourself in that spot, they're going to call them a
lot more than they should," Quenneville said.
The penalty-shot goal is the second this season for the Wild.
Minnesota forward Stacy Roest converted March 2 against Vancouver.
The Wild know their role at this time of the season.
"We definitely want to spoil it for teams trying to make the
playoffs," Wild center Jim Dowd said. "We're trying to win as
many games as we can."
The Blues have lost three of four, and are 12-16 in one-goal
Wes Walz added an empty-net goal for Minnesota at 18:56 of the
third period. Scott Young scored his 17th for St. Louis at 19:31 to
make it 2-1.
St. Louis outshot Minnesota 14-5 in the third period and 27-18
for the game.
Blues forward Keith Tkachuk didn't play because of an NHL
suspension received for a stick-swinging infraction in St. Louis'
loss to Chicago on Sunday.
"We were fortunate to play them at the right time," Lemaire
Blues C Doug Weight missed his 12th game because of a
sprained right knee and a sprained pelvis. ... Minnesota forward
Andrew Brunette extended his scoring streak to nine games with the
assist on Walz's goal. ... Johnson started his 12th consecutive
game. ... St. Louis' Alexander Khavanov was a healthy scratch and
missed his first game of the season. ... Minnesota has four goals
in its last 30 power-play opportunities. ... Blues D Marc Bergevin
dressed for only the second time in the last 16 games. ... The last
time St. Louis allowed a goal on a penalty shot at home was March
24, 1988, against New Jersey when Aaron Broten scored.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Scottrade Center Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
Referees: Shane Heyer, Tom Kowal Linesmen: Stephane Provost, Vaughan Rody
Attendance: 16,469 (86.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
No scoring this period
Antti Laaksonen (12)
(Penalty Shot) Unassisted
Wes Walz (10)
(Empty Net) Assists: Marian Gaborik, Andrew Brunette
Scott Young (17)
Assists: Dallas Drake, Daniel Corso