NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 9th (All times Eastern)
St. Louis Blues (43-14-6) at Minnesota Wild (34-22-7), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Miller has posted wins in his first four games in a St. Louis Blues uniform, but the goaltender could get a well-earned rest when his team visits the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.
Since coming over in a blockbuster trade with Buffalo on Feb. 28, Miller is 4-0 with a 1.50 goals against average and .933 save percentage for the Blues. He remained unbeaten with his new club on Saturday, making 26 saves to anchor the Blues in a 2-1 road win over Colorado.
"He's been solid back there doing everything that world-class goalies do," Blues forward David Backes said.
Backes and Patrik Berglund each scored for the Central Division-leading Blues, who moved five points ahead of the Avalanche in the standings. Colorado is one point behind second-place Chicago.
Miller has started every game for St. Louis since the trade, but with the Blues playing on consecutive days backup Brian Elliott could get the call on Sunday. Miller is 3-2-0 with a 2.29 GAA in five career games against the Wild, but Elliott is 5-0 with a 1.83 GAA in six lifetime appearances versus Minnesota.
St. Louis has dominated the Wild recently and will aim for an eighth straight win in this matchup. The Blues are 2-0 in the 2013-14 season series with two meetings remaining after Sunday's encounter.
The Blues, who are 20-9-3 as the away team this season, have taken the last three encounters in St. Paul.
Minnesota hopes to get back on track Sunday after having a five-game winning streak halted in Saturday's close regulation loss in Dallas. Erik Cole scored the winner with 4:49 to play as the Stars recorded a 4-3 win over the Wild at American Airlines Center.
The Wild went ahead 3-2 on Kyle Brodziak's goal 1:23 into the third period, but Tyler Seguin tied the game for the Stars at the 11:11 mark to set up Cole's game-winner.
Brodziak, Erik Haula and Charlie Coyle scored for the Wild, while Darcy Kuemper gave up all four goals on 38 shots.
"We turned over way too many pucks and gave up way too many odd-man rushes," said Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo. "We just weren't on top of our game tonight and they made us pay."
Kuemper made his 16th straight start on Saturday, but the Wild expect to give newly acquired goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov a shot between the pipes on Sunday. Bryzgalov, who was acquired from Edmonton before the trade deadline for a fourth-round pick, is 6-11-1 with a 3.22 GAA and .895 save percentage in 18 career outings against the Blues.
Although Minnesota enters Sunday trailing the Blues by 17 points for first place in the Central Division, the Wild are holding on to the first of the Western Conference's two wild card spots. Yeo's club is currently three points ahead of Dallas for the West's seventh seed after losing Saturday's meeting with the Stars.
The Wild are opening a four-game homestand on Sunday and boast a 22-7-2 record in St. Paul this season.
03/09 11:10:07 ET