Despite OT win, puck possession was ‘the issue’ for Blues in Game 1
What transpired for the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday probably won’t lead them to sustained success in these playoffs.
After a fairly even opening period, the Blues were badly outplayed and badly outshot (52-26 overall), but escaped Game 1 against the Minnesota Wild with a 2-1 overtime victory thanks to the spectacular play of goalie Jake Allen.
He stood on his head in a game that could’ve been a complete blowout, a disaster for the visiting team.
Blues vs. Wild: Stream on NBC Sports
This is where Allen’s performance ranks in Blues history for most saves made in a playoff game. That would be Curtis Joseph at the top, certainly a busy guy during the 1993 post-season.
The Wild were only able to beat Allen once, with Zach Parise scoring the tying goal with 22 seconds remaining in regulation. Yet, they took the positives away from an otherwise dominant performance.
“If we play like that every game, more often than not we’ll get the right results,” Devan Dubnyk told the Pioneer Press.
Blues coach Mike Yeo certainly acknowledged a huge disparity in puck possession. The Wild had 90 shot attempts, while the Blues had only 57.
“I think we can do a much better job in some areas,” said Yeo. “We didn’t have the puck enough and that’s the issue. But we know that we have to be better. We can’t just rely on Jake (Allen) to have a performance like that night after night, but I’m certainly encouraged that we got the win.”