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Koivu leads Wild to SO win over Blues

Koivu leads Wild to SO win over Blues

November 19th, 2011 in News

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Mikko Koivu scored twice and Matt Cullen netted the winner in the shootout as the Minnesota Wild beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 Saturday night.

Koivu tied the game with 1:38 to play with a power-play goal, and then scored in the shootout.

Minnesota's Josh Harding turned away Kevin Shattenkirk in the tiebreaker, and the Northwest Division-leading Wild won for the ninth time in 11 games.

The Wild's 27 points are the team's most through 20 games in its 11 NHL seasons.

T.J. Oshie and David Backes scored for St. Louis, which has lost four straight road games.

The Blues also lost to the Wild on Nov. 5, and they fired coach Davis Payne the next day. St. Louis is 4-0-2 under new coach Ken Hitchcock.

Oshie make it 2-1 with 13:53 to play in regulation, but the Wild continued their late-game heroics.

St. Louis took a 1-0 lead halfway through the first period on Backes' seventh goal.

Seconds after Wild goalie Josh Harding denied Jason Arnott from close range, Oshie fired a slap shot, and Backes poked in the rebound.

Koivu tied it at 2:37 of the second with a short-handed goal, his second of the season and his first at home since March 20.

Koivu swiped the puck from Patrik Berglund, flashed in front of the net and beat surprised goalie Jaroslav Halak in the upper right corner of the net.

It was the first goal in six games allowed by the Blues in the second or third periods.

The previous game between these teams was filled with penalties, including one stretch in which 11 players were in the penalty box.

Only four penalties were called Saturday, but the last one was a big one.

Arnott was whistled for slashing at 18:12 of the third, setting up the power play that led to Koivu's tying goal past Halak.

Halak stopped 30 shots, including a sprawling left-pad save on Cal Clutterbuck in the third that would have tied it with 8 minutes left.

Harding got the start over regular goalie Niklas Backstrom, who is 4-0-1 with a .960 save percentage in his last five games.

NOTES: Wild D Marco Scandella skated in the morning, but missed his fourth consecutive game because of a concussion. Defenseman Marek Zidlicky missed his second straight game, and LW Guillaume Latendresse his fourth also because of concussions. ... Blues D Ian Cole played after being a healthy scratch the previous three games. ... Blues D Ryan Reaves used the back of his left hand to swat a flying puck past Harding midway through the second period. Reaves, who doesn't have a point this season, grinned as referee Stephen Walkom immediately waved off the goal.