SUBSCRIBE NOW Just 99¢ for your first month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Wild suddenly on brink of elimination after Game 5 loss to Blues

Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko spoiled the party after Kirill Kaprizov got the Wild off to a fast start.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild
St. Louis Blues center Ryan O'Reilly (90) scores on Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) in the first period on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 in game five of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Xcel Energy Center.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

ST. PAUL — Kirill Kaprizov was the best Russian on the ice. Until he wasn’t.

In a span of 1 minute, 28 seconds on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center, Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko took complete control of the game with a pair of goals. He finished with a natural hat trick, and in the process, the Blues took complete control of the series.

Despite some incredible play from Kaprizov, especially in the opening 20 minutes, the Wild suffered a 5-2 loss to the Blues in Game 5 . They now trail 3-2 in the best-of-seven series and will be on the brink of elimination heading back to St. Louis for Game 6.

While it’s certainly not impossible for the Wild to advance to the next round, the numbers aren’t exactly in their favor at the moment. When a best-of-seven series is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 goes on to advance 79.1 percent of the time.

MORE MINNESOTA WILD COVERAGE:
Pro
In total, the Wild have roughly $8 million in cap space heading this offseason.
Pro
With captain Jared Spurgeon in charge, and alternate captains Marcus Foligno and Matt Dumba leading alongside him, the Wild felt different this season
Pro
GM Bill Guerin did a terrific job assembling the 2021-22 Wild. Unfortunately, the bottom line was the same
Pro
After falling to the St. Louis Blues in the first round, the Wild have a lot of things to figure out this summer.
Pro
After falling behind 3-2 in the series against the St. Louis Blues, the Wild turned to Talbot on the brink of elimination.
Pro
The toughest pill to swallow for everyone involved, players and coaches alike, was that this exact group will never been the same
Pro
Now the 2021-22 Minnesota Wild will be remembered similarly to many of their predecessors: a regular-season team that flamed out far too early in the postseason.
Pro
The past week and a half has been a lesson in patience for Talbot, who had a stellar finish to the regular season, then ceded the net to Marc-Andre Fleury to start the playoffs
Pro
He played more than 500 games in the NHL before getting his first taste of the playoffs
Pro
While Nick Leddy, Robert Bertuzzo and Marco Scandella all missed games, Faulk averaged 27:43 of ice time in four playoff games

From the moment the puck dropped, Kaprizov looked destined to score a goal. He worked so hard to win board battles early on, creating something out of nothing on multiple occasions.

ADVERTISEMENT

Nevermind that Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly put his team in front 1-0 with a power play goal early in the first period. With the way Kaprizov was playing, it felt like only a matter of time before he got rewarded for his effort.

It finally happened midway through the first period when Kaprizov accepted a pass from Jared Spurgeon on the power play, delayed for a couple of seconds to find the right angle, then fired a shot past Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington to tie the game at 1-1.

A few minutes later, the Wild garnered another power play, Kaprizov went right back to work.

After a loose puck squirted toward Blues defenseman Colton Parayko and looked destined to be cleared, Kaprizov busted his butt to keep the play alive. He pilfered the puck from Parayko with a perfect stick lift, then pirouetted back toward the net. He finished the play a few seconds later with a snipe top shelf to make it 2-1 in favor of the Wild.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild
St. Louis Blues left wing Brandon Saad (20) celebrates a second period goal against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 in game five of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Xcel Energy Center.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports

The offensive explosion by Kaprizov got the announced crowd of 19,197 on their feet. It was an incredible play from bonafide superstar. The only superstar the Wild have ever had.

If only the Wild could’ve bottled that and used it throughout the game. Maybe then they wouldn’t be on the brink of elimination.

Instead, the Blues weathered the storm, and after the home crowd started to calm down in the second period, Blues winger Brandon Saad tied the game at 2-2 with a nifty deflection in front of Marc-Andre Fleury.

That started the comeback and Tarasenko made sure it continued pretty much as soon as the third period started.

ADVERTISEMENT

The sequence started with Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich winning a board battle behind the net. That delivered an incredible pass to Tarasenko all alone in the slot. To nobody’s surprise, Tarasenko did the rest, wiring a shot into the back of the net to make it 3-2.

A minute and a half later, Tarasenko collected a pass from Blues center Ivan Barbashev and beat Fleury to stretch the lead to 4-2. He completed his natural hat trick with an empty-netter in the third period to finalize the score at 5-2.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek (14) tries to screen St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) with defenseman Scott Perunovich (48) defending in Game 5 of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports

What to read next
Pro
Aurora benefited from a Green Bay Glory own goal early in the second half and Green Bay earned an equalizing goal in the 89th minute for a 1-1 draw.
Pro
The 2015, 2017 and 2018 NBA champs earned the right to go for a another title in the best-of-seven NBA Finals, which will open in San Francisco on June 2.
Pro
The left-hander gave up just two hits and a walk and struck out six in seven shutout innings in a 3-2 loss
Pro
The rookie right-hander is officially the hardest-throwing Twins pitcher, ever, but he’ll do more than close games