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Blues stay hot at home, rally to beat Wild in overtime

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- There's something about playing at home which brings out the best in the St. Louis Blues.

Vladimir Sobotka scored 2:16 into overtime to give the Blues their third win in as many games at home this season Sunday night, a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

Sobotka scored off a pass from Andy McDonald to cap a rally which saw the Blues come back from a 3-1 deficit midway through the game as they were playing again a night after a tough game in Dallas.

"I just stayed in front of the net and made a good play," Sobotka said. "I just saw it landed right on my stick and it was kind of a weird shot but it landed up in the net and I was happy."

In addition to raising their home record this season to 3-0, since the start of the 2011-12 season, the Blues are an NHL-best 33-6-5 at Scottrade Center.

"I've been around a long time but I thought the third period was impressive," said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. "It was a real confidence booster. We didn't get down on ourselves and we really took our game to another level.

"I just liked the way we responded when we got pushed like that. In the third period we pushed back in a big way and that's a good sign."

The Blues trailed 3-2 entering the final period, and despite getting blanked on three power-play opportunities, tied the game on a goal by Chris Stewart and then took the lead 2:18 later on Barret Jackman's first goal of the season.

Even when the Wild came back to tie the game again, on a goal by Dany Heatley with 4:08 left in the game, the Blues did not panic.

"I don't want to say we are a bunch of homers, but we've got some good fans in this building," Stewart said. "They really push us here. We just have that good mentality and we like to play at home.

"I think we have that feeling in the room that when we play here, we know it's going to be tough to compete against us."

The Wild trailed 1-0 after the first period but scored three goals, on only four shots on goal, in taking a 3-1 advantage through two periods. Minnesota had scored only three power-play goals in 21 attempts in their first four games before Zach Parise scored just 2:04 into the second period, the first goal the Blues had allowed in three home games this season.

Parise's second goal of the game, and his fifth in as many games this season, also came on the power-play at 10:52 of the period. Parise has scored at least one point in all of the Wild's games this season.

The third Minnesota goal was credited to Nikko Koivu after a video review.

The Blues, who had taken the early lead on Wade Redden's second goal in two nights, cut the margin to 3-2 on Patrick Berglund's goal with 4:22 left in the second period.

The Wild could not protect that lead as the Blues fired 16 shots on goal in the third period, sending Minnesota to its third consecutive loss.

"It was a recipe for how to lose a game," said Minnesota coach Mike Yeo. "The bottom line is we can sit here and talk about our potential, the fact that we have a nice team on paper. But the winners do things that it takes to win hockey games. We can't sit there and allow that kind of barrage on our goal and expect to come out on top at the end of the night."

Even though the Blues did not score on their power-play chances in the final period, Parise thought the penalties changed the momentum of the game.

"We gave them those power plays, and even if they didn't score, they were getting the crowd into it and building some momentum off of it."

NOTES: All of the Blues wore No. 6 jerseys during the pre-game skate in honor of former Cardinal Stan Musial, whose funeral was Saturday. The jerseys will be auctioned off for charity. ... The Blues played the second of their 10 back-to-back games scheduled this season, having won at Dallas 4-3 on Saturday night. ... The Wild recalled defenseman Marco Scandella from Houston of the AHL and reassigned defenseman Mathew Dumba to Red Deer of the junior Western Hockey League. Dumba had been a healthy scratch for the Wild in their first four games of the season.
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