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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:06 am 
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Zach Parise played in the Stanley Cup Final in his final weeks as a member of the New Jersey Devils.

His team fell behind 3-0 in the series, then relaxed and won a pair of games before falling to the Los Angeles Kings in six.

With his Wild taking the first step in digging out of a 3-0 hole in their first-round series with the St. Louis Blues, Parise sees some parallels ahead of Game 5 on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.

"Having been in that situation, it helps," Parise said. "Going back to that, we lost the first two in OT at home. We could've been up two-zip as easy as we were down two-nothing, but they were tight games just like these have been tight games.

"Again, the focus is not on what happened, it's on 'OK, now we need to get ready to play the next game.' You can't dwell on what happened in Game 1, 2 or 3. We've got to play even better and better to try and make the series longer."

The Wild are coming off their first game where they held a lead, and it lasted, as they beat St. Louis 2-0 in Game 4. As the Wild come back home down 3-1 in the series, their odds are still quite long, but there's a better feeling now that they've at least pushed back.

"I think the attitude is fine," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said after practice on Friday. "I don't know if tense is the right word, but I think they're anxious to play again. This is only the third game in seven or eight days. So I think both teams are probably really anxious to get back at it."

Blues forward Paul Stastny could hardly be any more anxious after missing a month with a foot injury. He had a full practice on Friday in Missouri before the Blues hopped on a northbound plane.

St. Louis coach Mike Yeo hinted that Stastny could be back in the lineup on Saturday afternoon.

"Getting a player back is always nice. It helps to stabilize things, it gives us a little bit more options, but at the same time, it's not like getting a player back is just the answer and going to make things better for us," Yeo said. "I think in a lot of ways, we've lost players and it's sharpened our focus and guys have understood that they need to bear down and they need to do their jobs and do the little things and we need to make sure we continue to have that mindset. If we add a player like (Stastny) obviously then you become a better team."

Like Minnesota, the Blues are taking the "win one game" approach, not thinking about closing out the series, just focused on playing better for 60 minutes.

The surprising Nashville Predators are on the horizon for whoever emerges from this series, whether it's one, two or three games from now.
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Game 4 marked the Blues' first loss in five games against the Wild. Now with a 3-1 lead, the Blues are back in Minnesota where they have won three consecutive games at Xcel Energy Center. St. Louis has held a 3-1 lead on nine previous occasions in their history. They went on to win eight of those series with the only loss coming in 2003 to Vancouver. The Blues have been outstanding on the road recently, winning eight of their last nine games (reg. + postseason) while outscoring their opponents 29-14 over that stretch. Defense has been the key to their success, as they have allowed two or fewer goals in six of their last eight away games, including one or less five times.

What to Watch

Vladimir Tarasenko has been a strong player for the Blues in this series though he has yet to find the back of the net. Tarasenko is averaging a point-per-game and 5.1 shots on goal over his last nine road games (reg. + postseason), while he's collected 14 points in (eight goals, six assists) in 16 career outings at Xcel Energy Center. The last time the Blues and Wild met in the postseason, Tarasenko logged six goals on just 14 shots (42.8 percent).

Quick Hits

After accumulating a minus-44 differential in faceoff wins through Games 1-3, the Blues won 30 to the Wild's 31 in Game 4
The Blues have allowed two or fewer goals in four consecutive postseason games for the first time since their first-round series with Vancouver in 2003 (Games 1-4)
Power plays have not been much of a factor in the 2016-17 series (reg. + postseason) between the Blues and Wild as the two teams have combined to go 4-for-47 with the man-advantage
The teams to score first have a combined record of 23-8 this postseason


This day in history:
1983 Islanders win NHL record 14th consecutive playoff series defeating the Rangers 5-2 in Game 6 of the Patrick Division Final.
1988 Devils Patrick Sundstrom breaks Gretzky's single game playoff scoring record scoring a hat trick and adding 5 assists in Devils 10-4 win over Capitals in Game 3 of Patrick Division Finals.
1992 Brett Hull has 4 point night with 3 assists and scoring Double OT goal to defeat Blackhawks 5-4 and take a 2-1 series lead in Norris Division semifinal.
1997 Grant Fuhr shutous out Red Wings 4-0 stopping 30 shots for his 5th career playoff shutout in game which ends in a brawl.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:33 am 
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Let's close it out today. The longer it takes, the more the idea of an implosion creeps into the players' heads. Let's avoid that, shall we?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:45 am 
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Yeah, today would be best. I don't want to start playing the what if game, but if we lose today, game 6 will start to feel like a must win. I really really hate the idea of a game 7 on the road after losing 3 in a row.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:37 am 
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If you don't treat every playoff game as a must win then you don't deserve to win.

Hattie for Tarasenko, 3-1 win

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:21 pm 
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Lehtera? Really?!?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:34 pm 
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Tarasenko!!! Beautiful drive to the net and buries it!!! Blues lead 1-0!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Steen!!! Great pass by Parayko after a great play by Paajarvi to keep possession!! Blues lead 2-1!!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Why in the holy hell is Lehtera playing?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:52 pm 
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PP! Let's add to the lead!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:07 pm 
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Good 1st Period for The Blues. Bad luck that Sobotka got his stick on the puck just right to change the trajectory of the puck so that Allen, blocked by the screen, couldn't pick it up. Just bad puck luck. Sobotka was doing his job, making sure that Suter's shot didn't go to the net clearly. Let's hope that the Blues can come out in The 2nd with the same energy and determination to keep the puck.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:31 pm 
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The Blues need to score on this PP.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:48 pm 
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Great save by Allen!!! Preserves the lead!!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:51 pm 
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The Blues had a 3 on 2, and Staal wasn't fouled on the play. So, why didn't the play continue until The Wild had control of the puck?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:59 pm 
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Geez, with the way that period ended, feels like the Blues are down 3 games to 1 and 2-1 today. Hard to believe its still 2-1 good guys after 2.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:30 pm 
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STASTNY pounds in the rebound!!!! Blues lead 3-1!!! BIG, BIG goal!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:59 pm 
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3-3. :facepalm: Stay out of the (Franking) box!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:11 pm 
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If the officials called penalties on the Wild to the same standard they hold the Blues, the Blues would have had at least 3 more power plays in this game. But that standard hasn't held the entire series. The Wild commit egregious fouls, then the refs call "make-up" penalties on things that haven't been called at all on other teams in the playoffs. Holding when no one is grabbed or held on to twice? No interference call right before Steen's goal? I could go on...

I'm still stunned that KMOX has the 18th Cardinals baseball game, which is nationally televised on FS1, as being more relevant than a Blues OT playoff game. Brilliant programming decision. Fortunately, I'm using SiriusXM and don't have to worry about switching. I know when I lived in St Louis, the Y98 signal sucked in comparison.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:37 pm 
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Paajarvi bangs home the OT winner!!!! Blues win the series!!! Great play by Sobotka to read the play, grab the puck and get it on goal!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:39 pm 
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BAR DOWN!!!! Woohoo!!! :woohoo: :letsgoblues: :goblues:

Paajarvi, of all players.

Interesting with Dubnyk playing the puck up the wall and the Blues getting the puck this time.

(and Go Sharks!!! Would give Blues home ice in Conference Finals if Blues beat Preds and Sharks could get by Ducks)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:41 pm 
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(Franking) Boat, man. Motherfucking Boat.

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