If the Minnesota Wild are going to make a playoff run, they will need to play better on the road.
The Wild will try to snap a four-game road losing streak when they meet the St. Louis Blues at Savvis Center.
Minnesota, which has not won a road game since beating Edmonton on Feb. 10, has managed just two goals in each of four losses since. The Wild had a season-worst five straight losses on the road from Nov. 11-Dec. 5.
The Wild also look to avoid losing back-to-back home games for the first time in nearly two months. On Wednesday against Los Angeles, Wes Walz scored twice, staking Minnesota to a two-goal lead early in the third period.
“It’s almost like we’re scared to succeed,” Walz said. “When we get a two-goal lead it’s almost like we’re playing prevent defense and our safety is sitting down on the goal line.
In year’s past when we got a two-goal lead it didn’t matter what the score was, we were going to play the same way. We’re just sitting back a little too much and waiting for something bad to happen. In most cases it does.”
Walz has scored two goals in each of his last two games. Four of his eight career goals against St. Louis have been game-winners.
Minnesota had a season-high five-game road slide from Nov. 11-Dec. 5, and begins play in 11th place in the West, seven points behind Edmonton for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Those teams meet four more times including consecutive games Sunday and Tuesday in St. Paul, Minn.
The Wild made a pair of deals before Thursday’s deadline. On Wednesday, backup goaltender Dwayne Roloson was sent to Edmonton for a 2006 first-round draft pick and future considerations.
St. Louis is coming off a 2-1 shooutout loss Tuesday to Colorado. Rookies Jay McClement and Dennis Wideman and Keith Tkachuk all missed against David Aebischer while Blues goaltender Curtis Sanford gave up a shootout tally to Milan Hejduk.
“You knew it was going to be tight,” Sanford said. “We played well again (Tuesday) and they played well, too. It was like it was a playoff game out there.”
The Blues have been playing spoiler lately, winning six of their last nine games, with five wins coming against Western Conference teams in playoff position.
St. Louis made one deal at the trade deadline Thursday, sending veteran defenseman Eric Weinrich to Vancouver for defenseman Tomas Mojzis and a third-round draft choice. Mojzis was sent to Peoria of the AHL.
After 25 straight playoff appearances, St. Louis is at the bottom of the Western Conference.