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Blues 4, Wild 1

The SportsXchange

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Andy McDonald and Kevin Shattenkirk scored less than two minutes apart in a dominating second period, helping the St. Louis Blues snap a three-game losing streak in a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild.

Jaden Schwartz and Barret Jackman also scored for the Blues, and goalie Brian Elliott made 19 saves in a relief role as St. Louis (18-14-2) won for the first time in a week.

Jaroslav Halak started in goal for St. Louis and stopped all five shots he faced. He left with 12.5 seconds remaining in the opening period after falling awkwardly while moving to block a Jared Spurgeon shot that went wide of the net. Elliott, who has not started a game for a month and was a healthy scratch for 10 games in March, came on to replace Halak.

Dany Heatley had the only highlight for the Wild, scoring to briefly tie the game at 1-1 in the second period, but the Wild went 0-for-4 on the power play in the second and could rarely muster any sustained offense.

The Wild (21-12-2) had been among the hottest teams in the NHL, having won eight of their previous nine games, but they fell behind by two goals for the third consecutive game and could not mount a comeback. They lost at home for just the fourth time this season.

Schwartz opened the scoring with just his second goal in the past 14 games, snapping a high shot past Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom.

Heatley tied the game by stuffing a loose puck under Elliott during a scramble in front of the Blues net. But St. Louis roared back, retaking the lead when McDonald chased his own rebound and scored his first goal since Feb. 17. A few shifts later, Shattenkirk's shot from the blue line found its way through a crowd in front of Backstrom and into the net. It was Shattenkirk's first goal in a month.

Jackman scored the capper for the Blues in the final minute of the game, before the Wild could pull Backstrom for an extra attacker.

Backstrom finished with 20 saves for the Wild, who embark on a three-game road trip starting in San Jose on Wednesday.

The Blues play next in Chicago on Thursday.

NOTES: The newest defenseman in the Blues lineup may have been more familiar to Wild fans than to those in St. Louis. Jordan Leopold, acquired over the weekend from the Buffalo Sabres, played high school hockey in suburban Minneapolis and collegiately at the University of Minnesota, where he won the Hobey Baker Award and an NCAA title in 2002. ... The Wild hollered for a penalty and got no response early in the game when captain Mikko Koivu took an inadvertent stick to the face from Blues winger Chris Stewart. Koivu missed half of the first period but returned to his post on the Wild's top line later. ... It was announced during the game that the Blues acquired defenseman Jay Bouwmeester from the Calgary Flames in exchange for the Blues' 2013 first-round draft pick and two minor league prospects. "I look at our defense now with the addition of Leopold and Bouwmeester and with the players we have there now, I think we have the strongest defense in the NHL," said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. "We're always looking for a player we can keep for a year or a year-plus, and we got that in Bouwmeester. You can never have enough good NHL defensemen."

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