Schwartz, Blues wary of Wild ahead of Game 3


ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues know two things after the first two games of their first-round playoff series against the Minnesota Wild.

They know they have put themselves in a very good position by winning those two games on the road. They also know the series is far from over.

"We know the last two (victories) are going to be the hardest and it starts in Game 3," forward Jaden Schwartz told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "They're going to throw everything at us and we're excited to go home for sure. We did a good job so far, but we know it's going to get a lot tougher."

Schwartz's goal with 2:27 to play in the third period gave the Blues their second consecutive 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night. Goalie Jake Allen, who made 51 saves in the overtime win in Game 1, stopped 23 of 24 shots and allowed the Wild's only goal on a 5-on-3 power play.

The series resumes Sunday in St. Louis.

"We've still got a ways to go," Allen told the Post-Dispatch. "I don't think we're satisfied with the way we're playing yet. A huge two wins for us, but we haven't seen our best. We got two wins, you're definitely happy about that, but we need a little bit better effort and I think we're going to get it."

Blues coach Mike Yeo said Saturday he did not anticipate making any lineup changes for Game 3.

The Wild know the pressure will be on them, but it is not an unusual position for coach Bruce Boudreau. He was coaching Anaheim last year when the Ducks lost their first two games at home, and then won the next three before finally losing the first-round series in seven games.

"Both games could've gone either way," Boudreau said. "I don't see why we can't go in there and do the same thing to them that they did to us. This is what happened last year, when (coaching Anaheim) we went into Nashville and won the next three games. So, it's not impossible."

History, however, shows that a team which takes a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven series has gone on to win 87 percent of the time.

"You have to dig deep and find out what we're made of here," Wild defenseman Ryan Suter told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

At least one player, forward Chris Stewart, believes the Wild can do that.

"I'll tell you right now, this series is long from over," Stewart told the Star-Tribune. "There's no quit in this dressing room. There's a lot of heart in this dressing room."

Goalie Devan Dubnyk said the team has to start showing it on Sunday.

"We just need to get the next one," he told the Star-Tribune. "That's got to be our focus right now. We've been a good road team all year so we're just going to try to keep playing our game and I think we'll get some momentum here."

What to Read Next