Wilde was eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs after losing Game 6 to the Blues 5-1

Joel Erickson Eck #14 of the Minnesota Wild Skis Nick Lady #4, Ryan O’Reilly #90 and Vladimir Tarasenko #91 of the St. Louis Blues as they celebrate Lady’s goal during the first period in Game Six of the first round of the round. Stanley Cup 2022 (Photo by Scott Keen/Getty Images)

With their season on the line and facing elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs in St. Louis on Thursday night, Minnesota Wild played one of the worst games of the season in a 5-1 loss to the Blues at the Enterprise Center.

Wild’s season ended, losing their best of seven streaks 4-2, after the team’s best regular season in franchise history which included 113 points and a second place finish in the Western Conference. Wild needed a win Thursday night to force Game 7 at the Xcel Energy Center.

“I think we all thought we were going back to Minnesota for Game 7. All I can say is that everyone in this locker room has been competing in their butts all year for each other. It’s really disappointing, I know what to say now,” said the winger. Mats Zuccarello after the loss.

Dean Evason made a few line-up changes before Game Six, most notably replacing Marc-Andre Fleury with Cam Talbot at the net.

None of the moves worked. The Blues’ first goal Thursday night came from Nick Lady, an Eden Prairie native who was a Wild First in 2009. He ice skated in the first period as all five Wild players stood and watched. He beat Talbot, who was playing his first match in about three weeks, with a shot to the wrist at 14:59 of the first period to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.

Talbot said after the match that it was a shot he had to save. Evason said it shouldn’t have happened.

“I’m sure it looks like a terrible goal. You have 1 against 5. He shouldn’t have a chance to shoot the ball. 1-on-5? Can’t go into the net, he can. I didn’t get a shot on the net,” Evason said. For whatever reason we had real distress.”

St. Louis then scored three goals in the second half to control the match. Ryan O’Reilly scored in the 9:26 minute of strong play, after Zuccarello trailed a penalty kick, to make it 2-0. Four minutes later, Alexei Toropchenko lunged into the net before Talbot could stop. Tyler Bosak slammed an open rebound for a goal and advanced 3-0 for the Blues.

With 1:24 to play in the second half, the Blues managed another power-play goal after calling in Tyson Jost to hold. Vladimir Tarasenko, who scored a hat-trick in the third round in Game Five on Tuesday night, buried a cross from David Peron to advance 4-0. The Blues outperformed Wild 22-5 in the second half.

The Wild has gone out 15-5 goals over the last three games after beating St. Louis 5-1 in Game Three. The Wild led 2-1 after 20 minutes in Match 5, beating it 9-1 in the next round. 100 minutes of playing time.

The Wild avoided closing for the second time in the series after Matt Domba clocked one time from John Merrill at 6:25 of the third period. This was the only drawback of Blues goalkeeper Jordan Bennington, who finished 25 saves. Colton Paraiko scored the empty goal at 18:19 in the third period to secure the victory for St. Louis.

The Wild spoke of playing despondent ahead of Thursday’s game and expected to come home after forcing a Game of 7 at the Xcel Energy Center. In the face of elimination, they were slow and lethargic and let the Blues do whatever they wanted for the first forty minutes.

“It’s hard to put into words at the moment,” said winger Marcos Foligno. “How close this group is and how positive the regular season is. It’s just disappointing. We feel like we were there with them.”

With Thursday’s loss, Wild lost his sixth straight playoff series. They haven’t advanced in the Stanley Cup playoffs since beating the Blues in 2015.

“Our team is resilient. We were resilient, we handled adversity, we were a team that bounces back. We got to this place tonight and didn’t handle it very well,” Evason said. “We have to get to a point where we can deal with it to get to the next round.”

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