(Sports Network) – Martin Havlat pulled Minnesota even with 58 seconds to go in regulation and John Madden scored the decisive shootout goal, as the Wild rallied to beat St. Louis, 5-4, at Scottrade Center.
The Blues were whistled for too many men at the 16:58 mark of the third period and Minnesota goaltender Jose Theodore was later called to the bench to create a 6-on-4 advantage.
Moments after the penalty expired, Andrew Brunette dished to Mikko Koivu in the right circle and he fired a shot absorbed by Jaroslav Halak. Havlat crashed the crease and nudged the puck across the goal line.
Then, in the shootout, Madden began the ninth round by whipping a backhander past Halak. Theodore turned away Vladimir Sobotka to secure the extra point for Minnesota in the front end of this home-and-home series.
Cal Clutterbuck had two goals for the Wild, who have won eight of their last 10 games.
David Backes lit the lamp twice for St. Louis, which has dropped six of eight.
Theodore stopped 31 shots, while Halak made 23 saves in defeat.
Patrik Berglund staked the Blues to a 1-0 lead 1:50 after the game’s opening faceoff, but Brunette countered 59 seconds later. Andy McDonald put St. Louis up 2-1 at 15:34 of the first period off a feed from Brad Boyes.
Clutterbuck supplied the only goal of the middle frame to draw the visitors even.
Backes scored 19 seconds into the third period, converting a Boyes pass to finish a 2-on-1 rush, but Clutterbuck provided a rebuttal 22 seconds later.
The Blues grabbed a 4-3 lead when Alex Pietrangelo’s wrister from the right point deflected off Backes and sailed past Theodore at 6:20.
Minnesota will host St. Louis on Saturday…The Blues had won their last four home games against the Wild…Berglund and St. Louis defenseman Erik Johnson both played in their 200th career games.