It took almost 10 whole periods of play for the Minnesota Wild to get the lead against the St. Louis Blues.
Once they had it, the Wild didn't let go.
Through three games -- one of which ended in overtime, all of which ended as wins for St. Louis -- the Wild scored just three goals, effectively stonewalled by the Blues' red-hot goalie Jake Allen. That left Minnesota, once rated as one of the NHL's best teams, on the verge of getting swept right out of the playoffs.
Allen still wasn't giving anything up through 17 minutes of Wednesday night's game four. So Charlie Coyle found a way to score without beating Allen at all: Reading the goalie's mind, Coyle waited for a puck to sling around the boards and sent it on net before Allen could retreat. 1-0, Wild.
If that goal was about smarts, Minnesota's second was all skill. A nifty one-touch pass from Jason Pominville left Martin Hanzal skating right into the guts of St. Louis' zone.
Acquired with high expectations mid-season, Hanzal had yet to score in these playoffs. If he intends to heat up, now would be a good time.
The win gives the Wild another chance at survival, this time with a home game at the Xcel Center on Saturday afternoon. Minnesota is attempting to become the fifth team in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit.
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