Minnesota at St. Louis

Oshie notches first hat trick, NHL-best Blues handle Wild

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues center T.J. Oshie knew exactly what to do with the puck that completed his first three-goal game in the NHL.

That souvenir now belongs to his 10-day-old daughter, Lyla Grace, who was born on March 17.

"It's definitely going to her," he said.

Oshie's hat trick and a 27-save performance by Ryan Miller led the Blues to a 5-1 rout of the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.

St. Louis has won three in a row overall and nine straight against the Wild. The Blues lead the NHL with 107 points.

Jaden Schwartz and Brenden Morrow also scored for St. Louis, which has standings points in its past 10 home games. Miller improved to 9-2-1 since being acquired from Buffalo on Feb. 28.

He has a 2.03 goals against average and a .918 save percentage with the Blues.

Zach Parise scored for the Wild, who had earned points in their previous three road games but have lost six of eight overall. Darcy Kuemper made 19 saves but fell to 12-8-4. He has won only twice in nine starts.

Oshie, who has a career-high 21 goals, scored twice in the first period -- including a short-handed goal with 26 seconds left that made it 2-0.

He converted from the slot at 4:43 and then beat Kuemper on a breakaway for the Blues' fifth short-handed goal of the season.

Oshie tipped in a shot from Jay Bouwmeester at 7:18 of the third period to complete the hat trick.

"This has been an exciting couple of months for me," said Oshie, who played for the United States in the Olympics, "but she trumps everything for me."

The modest Oshie refused to take credit for his big night.

"The pucks just happened to go off my stick," he said.

But linemates David Backes and Alexander Steen were happy to heap praise on Oshie.

"He's been a horse for us all year," Backes said. "He strung a couple of great shots together and a tip on the last one.

"I couldn't be happier for him."

The Blues posted a hat trick for the second successive game; Backes scored three times Tuesday in a 5-3 victory at Toronto. That was the first time St. Louis recorded back-to-back three-goal games since Dec. 20-23, 2000, when Pavol Demitra and Michal Handzus accomplished the feat.

The Blues lead the Western Conference and are battling Boston for the Presidents' Trophy for the top mark in the NHL. They are one point ahead of the Bruins with nine games remaining for both teams.

"We wanted to make a statement to the league that we deserve to be where we're at," Oshie said. "We want that target on our backs."

St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock believes his club is peaking at the right time.

"We're not going to be overwhelmed because we're the favorites in a playoff series," he said. "We're going to embrace it."

Even Minnesota coach Mike Yeo was impressed with the Blues.

"They've got a great team" he said. "They smelled blood and they went after it.

"This was a team loss."

Miller made nine saves in the first 6:07 before coasting to the victory.

"We got settled into our 5-on-5 game and really limited the puck possession by the other team," he said. "This was a big step forward."

Schwartz netted his 23rd goal of the season on a power play midway through the second period to make it 3-0.

The Wild lost for the second time in two nights after dropping a 5-3 decision to Vancouver on Wednesday.

"I don't think anyone can really be happy," Kuemper said. "We've got to turn this thing around."

St. Louis has killed 23 consecutive power plays against Minnesota in a span of six games.


Steve Cash and Josh Pauls, members of the USA's gold-medal winning Paralympic hockey team, were honored before the game. ... Minnesota began a four-game trip that also has stops at Phoenix, Los Angeles and Chicago. ... The Blues are shooting for their first Presidents' Trophy since the 1999-2000 season. ... Minnesota LW Dany Heatley has gone a season-high 13 games without a goal. ... Wild RW Jason Pominville led all players with seven shots on goal.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
T.J. Oshie's third goal produces a flurry of hats in St. Louis, but the Blues ice crew doesn't seem to mind the extra work.  (USATSI)
T.J. Oshie's third goal produces a flurry of hats in St. Louis, but the Blues ice crew doesn't seem to mind the extra work. (USATSI)
Minnesota (37-25-11)0011
St. Louis  (50-16-7) «2125
Three Stars
T. Oshie

Goals: 3
Assist(s): 0
R. Miller

Saves: 27
Save Pct.: .964
B. Morrow

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
04:43 - T.J. Oshie (19), Snap Shot. Assist: Backes, Polak
19:34Short - T.J. Oshie (20), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
13:10Power Play - Jaden Schwartz (22), Wrist Shot. Assist: Colaiacovo, Bouwmeester
07:18 - T.J. Oshie (21), Tip-In. Assist: Bouwmeester, Backes
10:45Power Play - Brenden Morrow (12), Backhand Shot. Assist: Steen, Sobotka
11:11 - Zach Parise (26), Wrist Shot. Assist: Coyle, Koivu
Penalty Summary
01:13Polak, 2 min, Interference
07:09Haula, 2 min, Hooking
12:10Polak, 2 min, High sticking
17:59Brodziak, 2 min, Roughing
17:59Lapierre, 2 min, Roughing
17:59Shattenkirk, 2 min, Cross Check
17:59Shattenkirk, 2 min, Roughing
03:39Koivu, 2 min, Tripping
09:13Backes, 2 min, Cross Check
11:21Granlund, 2 min, Interference
20:00Roy, 2 min, Roughing
08:42Pominville, 2 min, Tripping
09:28Brodziak, 10 min, Gross Misconduct
09:28Brodziak, 2 min, Slashing
Shots On Goal
Darcy Kuemper60:00195
Ryan Miller59:25271
Game Information
Attendance - 19646
Referees - Paul Devorski, Gord Dwyer
Linesmen - Don Henderson, Shane Heyer
Other Games
Pho 3 Final
NJ 2
LA 3 Final
Pitt 2
Chi 0 Final
Bos 3
Mon 5 Final
Det 4
NYI 2 Final
TB 3
Car 3 Final
Fla 0
Buf 1 Final
Nash 6
Van 2 Final
Colo 3
Wpg 4 Final
SJ 3