Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals, one of which will be on every highlight reel, Jake Allen made 17 saves and the St. Louis Blues routed the Minnesota Wild 6-1 in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Tarasenko put a slick move on Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk on a breakaway late in the second period. He used his speed to split the defense, cut to the left and reached back with one hand on his stick to tuck the puck in.
Kevin Shattenkirk collected three assists for the Blues, who evened this best- of-seven set at two games apiece.
“When we check, we score. It looks like we’ve joined the tournament now, and we’re dialed in,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said.
David Backes and Patrik Berglund each had a goal and an assist, helping St. Louis post its first road playoff win since April 19, 2012, snapping a nine- game skid.
Berglund scored 63 seconds after Tarasenko’s dazzling goal to send Dubnyk to an early exit. Dubnyk was pulled after giving up six goals on 17 shots.
“They were on top of their game, and we were not even close to being on top of ours,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said.
The series shifts back to St. Louis on Friday for Game 5.
The crowd at Xcel Energy Center was silenced as the Blues struck for three goals midway through the first period.
Ryan Reaves gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead with his first career playoff goal at the 5:34 mark, then Tarasenko managed to tip Shattenkirk’s shot past Dubnyk 1:25 later.
Backes pushed a rebound through Dubnyk and across the goal line to make it 3-0 at 10:06.
The Wild began the second period on a power play and converted when Jared Spurgeon snapped a shot over Allen’s right shoulder at 1:41.
St. Louis responded two minutes later on a goal by Paul Stastny, who sneaked a shot past Dubnyk from the left circle off the rush.