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Wild Attempt to Sweep Home-And-Home Series From Blues Tonight

(Sports Network) - After halting a losing streak in St. Louis, the Minnesota Wild will aim to pick up a fourth straight home victory over the Blues as the two clubs wrap a home-and-home set this evening at Xcel Energy Center.

The Blues and Wild squared off last night at the Scottrade Center, with Minnesota rallying from four one-goal deficits in regulation in a 5-4 shootout victory. Martin Havlat forced the extra time on a goal with 58 seconds left in the third period and John Madden had the winning tally in the ninth round of the shootout.

Havlat's game-tying tally came right at the end of a 6-on-4 advantage as the Blues had been whistled for too many men on the ice and goaltender Jose Theodore was pulled to the bench.

Theodore ended with 31 saves and Cal Clutterbuck scored twice as Minnesota won for the eighth time in 10 games and is one point back of Calgary for the eighth spot in the Western Conference.

"We came out of this with two points and that's what we always shoot for," said Clutterbuck.

The Wild will play five of their next six at home, where they have won three straight both overall and against the Blues. They snapped a four-game slide in St. Louis last night and have won three of the last four meetings in this series overall.

David Backes scored twice to reach the 20-goal mark for the second time in his career for the Blues, who are 2-3-3 in their last eight games. Backes has four goals in his last three contests.

Patrik Berglund and Andy McDonald also scored and Jaroslav Halak made 23 saves in his first ever start against the Wild. McDonald has four points in four games since returning from a concussion and netted his first goals since Nov. 26.

"We have to be better in all areas," said Blues head coach Davis Payne.

Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo returned from a seven-game absence after taking a puck to the eye on Jan. 18.

St. Louis has lost six of its last eight on the road and is seven points behind the Flames in the West standings.

It is unknown if Halak will go on back-to-back nights or if Ty Conklin will make his third start of the month. Conklin is 1-4-1 with a tie and 2.14 goals- against average lifetime versus the Wild.

Niklas Backstrom will likely get the call for Minnesota tonight in net and is 5-5-0 with a 2.47 GAA in his career when facing the Blues. Theodore moved to 2-5-1 with a 4.14 GAA against them.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.