ST. LOUIS (AP)Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots, and the Minnesota Wild beat the St. Louis Blues 5-1 on Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference playoff series.
Joel Erickson Ek had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Greenway, Mats Zuccarello and Jonas Brodin also scored as the Wild improved to 8-8 all-time in Game 3s.
Fleury, playing in a 16th consecutive Stanley Cup playoffs, earned his 92nd career playoff win.
Ryan O’Reilly scored a power play goal and Ville Husso made 28 saves for the Blues.
St. Louis lost Torey Krug to a lower body injury early in the first period. Krug is the third Blues defensemen to get hurt in the series.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Sunday afternoon in St. Louis before shifting back to St. Paul, Minnesota, for Game 5.
The Wild wasted no time quieting the crowd by taking advantage of the Blues’ aggressiveness for two early goals.
St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko was caught chipping in the offensive zone creating a 2-on-1 break resulting in Greenway’s goal 39 seconds in.
Less than two minutes later, Ryan Hartman sprung Kaprizov on a breakaway. Husso made the initial save, steering the rebound to the corner, but Kaprizov banked the rebound off Husso’s skate from behind the net to give the Wild a 2-0 lead.
Zucarello’s 16th career playoff goal gave the Wild a 3-0 lead in the second period and Erickson Ek scored his third goal of the series 22 seconds into the third period. Marcus Foligno picked up his second assist of the game on Erickson Ek’s tally.
The Blues got some momentum going after O’Reilly’s goal at 2:17 of the third, but Fleury made several tough saves to keep the rally from gaining more traction.
Brodin’s goal with 7:29 left prompted a significant portion of the sellout crowd to head for the exits.
Blues D Nick Leddy and D Robert Bortuzzo and were both scratched after sustaining upper body injuries in Game 1 and Game 2, respectively. On Thursday, the Blues recalled D Steven Santini from Springfield, the team’s AHL affiliate. Santini was a scratch after Marco Scandella, who had missed the last three games to a lower body injury, was given the green light to play.
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