Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 1/27/13
St_louis_blues_661b
The St. Louis Blues have proven to be a force out of the gate. While the Minnesota Wild also started strong, they've since taken a couple of steps back. The Blues look to keep rolling Sunday night as they host a Wild team hoping to avoid a third consecutive defeat. Two nights after beating Nashville 3-0, St. Louis (4-1-0) matched its best start since 2008-09 with Saturday's 4-3 win at Dallas. Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves to earn his third win and David Perron scored his first two goals to go along with an assist. "I thought Perron's really starting to get engaged," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That's nice to see. I thought Perron was head and shoulders the best player on the ice. It's his tenacity on the puck, for the puck, with the puck. He was a major factor." Hitchcock was also impressed with Wade Redden, who skating in just his second NHL game after two years in the minors, gave the Blues a 1-0 lead 5:31 into the opening period. It was his first NHL goal since March 18, 2010, when he scored for the New York Rangers against the Blues. "That's a really good sign for us," Hitchcock said. Despite the encouraging performances by Perron and Redden, it wasn't all smooth sailing for the Blues. They were outshot 11-10 over the final 20 minutes after holding a 22-12 edge over the first two periods. "I think we had them buried and we let them up off the mat," Hitchcock told the league's official website. "If we play like this (Sunday) night in the third period, we're going to lose by about six." The Blues now try for their best start since winning seven of their first eight games in 1997-98 while also adding to the Wild's woes. Minnesota (2-2-0) won its first two games before dropping its last two, 3-1 to Nashville on Tuesday and 5-3 at Detroit three nights later. "This is what we talked about at the beginning of the year as far as us taking the next step - good teams finding ways to win those games," second-year coach Mike Yeo said. "We've gotta come in here (Sunday) and play a really good team and we gotta find a way to win." Prized free-agent signing Zach Parise scored twice against the Red Wings but Josh Harding stopped just 22 of 27 shots. Minnesota has gone 1 for 14 (7.1 percent) on the man advantage over its last three games, scoring once in eight chances Friday. "I'm a big believer as long as you're getting chances, sooner or later you'll get success scoring goals as well," captain Mikko Koivu said. "It's not gonna get easy, but it will get easier when you get goals and then you get that confidence - but you have to earn it, individually and as a team, and obviously we're trying to do that." The Wild could have a hard time generating offense against the Blues, who've killed all eight penalties while outscoring opponents 9-0 in winning their first two home games. Halak has made a combined 27 saves while starting both those contests, but Brian Elliott is expected to be in goal Sunday. Elliott, 1-1-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average, went 14-3-3 at home last season while compiling an NHL-leading 1.53 GAA among goaltenders with at least 20 starts. Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom is 0-4-0 with a 4.24 GAA lifetime at St. Louis, but is expected to be between the pipes for this one. Harding started all four games versus the Blues last season, and went 2-1-1 with a 2.16 GAA. The Blues are 6-0-2 at home against the Wild since the start of 2008-09.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rougned Odor threw a cup of water into Felix Hernandez’s face on the field

Michael Irvin rips Texans for not trading for Tony Romo

Richard Sherman on trade talk: ‘I just laugh it off, man’

Grumpy writer complains about 'SI for Kids' reporter

Report: Archie Miller closing in on seven-year deal to coach Indiana

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Alex Rodriguez said he 'made an ass of' himself denying PED allegations

LaVar Ball finally got what he deserved

Adrian Peterson makes statement, says it is ‘not all about the money’

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

LaVar Ball gets Crying Jordan, meme treatment after UCLA loss

Celtics upset Suns tried to pad Devin Booker’s stats

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker