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Wild's season comes to crashing halt in St. Louis

Matt Dumba scored for the Wild and goaltender Cam Talbot, making his first start in place of Marc-Andre Fleury, made 22 saves.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues
St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal Thursday, May 12, 2022 against the Minnesota Wild during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Enterprise Center.
Jeff Le / USA Today Sports

ST. LOUIS — Jordan Binnington made 25 saves as the St. Louis Blues defeated the visiting Minnesota Wild 5-1 Thursday to win their first-round Western Conference playoff series in six games.

The Blues advance to the second round to face the Colorado Avalanche, who swept them out of the playoffs last season in the first round.

Nick Leddy, Ryan O'Reilly, Tyler Bozak, Vladimir Tarasenko and Colton Parayko scored for the Blues and David Perron had two assists.

Matt Dumba scored for the Wild and goaltender Cam Talbot, making his first start in place of Marc-Andre Fleury, made 22 saves.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues
St. Louis Blues center Brayden Schenn (10) attempts to screen Minnesota Wild goaltender Cam Talbot (33) during the second period Thursday, May 12, 2022 in game six of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Enterprise Center.
Jeff Le / USA Today Sports

Key Wild forward Joel Eriksson Ek left the game in the first period after teammate Dmitry Kulikov accidently clipped him in the mouth with his stick. Eriksson Ek missed much of the second period before returning with a full facial shield.

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The Wild controlled much of the first period while outshooting the Blues 10-4. But the Blues killed two off two penalties and took a 1-0 lead when Leddy zig-zagged up the ice and snapped a shot through Kulikov and past Talbot.

Minnesota had multiple scoring chances in the first 20 minutes but couldn't break through. Marcus Foligno hit the left post during an extended flurry, and Binnington stopped Frederick Gaudreau's clean break-in.

MORE MINNESOTA WILD COVERAGE:
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After finishing the regular season with 33 goals and 52 assists, Fiala did not score a goal in the playoffs.
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It sounds like Fleury would be open to coming back to Minnesota and Talbot is already under contract for next season.
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It’s pretty clear Dumba wasn’t at 100% for the opening-round series against the St. Louis Blues.
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After falling behind 3-2 in the series against the St. Louis Blues, the Wild turned to Talbot on the brink of elimination.
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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.
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Like so many teams before them, the Wild once again bowed out in the first round
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With his team facing elimination, Wild coach Dean Evason expects to see a better team-wide effort in Game 6.
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The Minnesota Wild have been a franchise for more than two decades. And no matter who the face of the franchise has been, he historically hasn't had a lot of help in the postseason.
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Vladimir Tarasenko's third-period hat trick quiets Xcel Energy Center crowd.
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The first-round playoff series between Minnesota and St. Louis may come to an end on Thursday, as the Blues most recent win pushed the Wild to the edge of elimination. And after five contests that have had a bit of everything, anything less than seeing all seven games would be unfortunate.

With 23 seconds left in the period, Matt Boldy came from behind the net for a stuff attempt, but he was denied by Binnington.

O'Reilly put the Blues up 2-0 with a power-play goal 9:26 in the second period. Brayden Schenn fed O'Reilly in the near slot for a point-blank shot.

Bozak made it 3-0 by following up Alexei Toropchenko's power move to the goal and tapping in the rebound. Tarasenko increased the margin to 4-0 with a power-play goal with 1:24 left in the period on a back-door cut through the right circle.

Dumba got the Wild on the board with a slap shot from atop the left circle with 13:35 left to play. But Parayko iced the game with an empty-net goal with 1:41 left.

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