St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - T.J. Oshie's first career hat trick
highlighted the St. Louis Blues' latest victory, a 5-1 drubbing of the
slumping Minnesota Wild at Scottrade Center.
Jaden Schwartz and Brenden Morrow also tallied for the current Western
Conference leaders, who improved to 11-2-1 since acquiring goaltender Ryan
Miller from Buffalo on Feb. 28.
"We're really focusing on playing team hockey right now and it's showing with
the results we've had," said Oshie. "Three of them happened to come from my
stick, but the next game it will be someone else."
Miller did his part as well in this one, taking a shutout bid into the final
nine minutes and turning aside 27 of the 28 shots he faced.
Counterpart Darcy Kuemper wasn't as effective, coming up with just 19 saves as
the Wild lost for the ninth time in 12 games. Minnesota's lead over Phoenix
for the top wild-card spot in the West also shrunk to one point after the
Coyotes downed New Jersey on Thursday.
Zach Parise accounted for the lone Wild goal in Minnesota's ninth consecutive
setback to the Blues.
"That's a team we could face in the first round and we wanted to make it tough
on them," said Parise. "I don't think we did that, at all, tonight."
Oshie's first two goals came during the opening period, with the initial one
-- a well-placed wrister into the upper right corner of the Wild net after he
corralled a loose puck -- giving St. Louis a quick 1-0 edge 4:43 in.
A double-minor penalty to Kevin Shattenkirk late in the first gave Minnesota
an extended power play, but the Wild instead fell behind further while on the
man advantage. Oshie intercepted a pass from Jared Spurgeon in the neutral
zone, starting a shorthanded breakaway that he finished by blasting the puck
past Kuemper 26 seconds before the intermission.
The Blues did cash in on a power-play opportunity to extend the margin in the
second period, with Schwartz beating Kuemper to the stick side with Morrow
setting a screen for a 3-0 cushion.
Oshie completed the hat trick with 7:18 elapsed in the third period,
successfully redirecting a blast from the point from Jay Bouwmeester to make
it a 4-0 game.
Just under 3 1/2 minutes later, Morrow chipped in a rebound of Alex Steen's
initial attempt with the Blues on another power play.
Parise produced Minnesota's lone highlight of the night by finishing a
transition rush with Charlie Coyle with 8:49 remaining.
The Wild haven't bested the Blues since a 3-2 shootout decision in Minnesota
on Nov. 19, 2011 ... Oshie became the second St. Louis player in as many games
to register a hat trick, with David Backes accomplishing the feat in Tuesday's
win over Toronto ... The Blues have now notched a point in 10 straight home
games (8-0-2), tying a season-best stretch from Oct. 25-Dec. 5 ... Minnesota
went 0-for-6 on the power play, while St. Louis converted 2-of-5 chances ...
Blues forward Derek Roy returned to action after missing two straight with a