Minnesota Wild End 7-Game Slide First Game Under Hynes
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Joel Eriksson Ek and Frederick Gaudreau scored in the first period and the Minnesota Wild ended a seven-game slide by beating the St. Louis Blues 3-1 on Tuesday.
Matt Boldy added an insurance goal late and Filip Gustavsson made 23 saves for his first win in eight starts for Minnesota, playing its first game under coach John Hynes.
"You have all this change and everything like that, but I think it starts in the room, too. We haven't been happy about the way we've been playing and the losses piling on top of each other. So, yeah, we had a motivated group tonight," Boldy said.
A former bench boss with Nashville and New Jersey, Hynes took over Monday after the Wild fired Dean Evason.
The Blues had just five shots on goal in the period. Maybe it was as simple as the coaching change, but the Wild played with more energy, which led to more offensive chances and better defensive coverage.
Minnesota is 31st in the league at 3.80 goals-against per game, ahead of only four-win San Jose (4.00). Additionally, the Wild have a league-worst 71.2% penalty kill, but St. Louis was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Minnesota has led after the first period in just three of its 20 games, winning each. The Blues fell to 0-8-0 when trailing after one.
The Wild were without Ryan Hartman, the team's second-leading goal scorer who was suspended for two games by the league for slew-footing Detroit's Alex DeBrincat on Sunday.
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