ST. LOUIS – The silver lining to stumbling into a deficit so early was that it gave the Wild almost the entire game to rebound.
But it didn’t need that much time.
Instead, the rest of the first period was more than enough to flip a rough start into redemption via an eventual 6-2 rout Tuesday over the Blues in front of 17,821 at Scottrade Center that revealed the type of resiliency the Wild has been missing in recent road games.
“Responding well was huge for us,” winger Jason Zucker said. “That’s what arguably got us that win.”
Twelve different players contributed in six unanswered goals, which tied a season-high output. And with goalie Devan Dubnyk nearly air-tight amid a 35-save performance, the Wild banked some much-needed momentum as the visitor after dropping two of three previous road tests in dramatic fashion.
“All the guys chipped in tonight,” Zucker said. “That’s going to get us a lot of wins down the stretch.”
Just 45 seconds after puck drop, the Blues scored when winger Jaden Schwartz poked in a puck Dubnyk couldn’t hold onto after making the initial save.
Only three days earlier in Dallas, the Wild crumbled after surrendering the first goal in a 6-1 loss. It also fell behind early in the 6-3 letdown to the Penguins before the All-Star break.
But this time was different.
“The only thing I said on the bench was we had 59 minutes and 45 seconds,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “So it was a lot of game left.”
At 2:02, the Wild tied it after winger Nino Niederreiter pounced on a bouncing puck after defenseman Gustav Olofsson hit the crossbar.
“We kept it going from there,” Eric Staal said.
Later in the period, winger Daniel Winnik threw the puck to the front of the net from the corner and winger Marcus Foligno was there to whack it by Blues goalie Carter Hutton.
Soon after, the Wild went on the power play and capitalized.
Mikko Koivu cut to the middle and beat Hutton with a rising backhander with 1:53 remaining in the first. It was Koivu’s first goal in 12 games, and the unit converted for the ninth time in nine games.
The Wild tacked on another insurance marker in the second; winger Jason Zucker lifted a backhand over goalie Jake Allen, who replaced Hutton after a five-save showing in the first, at 9:45. His 22nd goal matched the career high Zucker posted last season.
Before the period adjourned, a shot from defenseman Matt Dumba squeaked through Allen’s pads at 16:19. Allen ended up with nine saves. Zucker, Koivu and winger Mikael Granlund each finished with two points.
So did Staal, who buried a sixth goal on the power play at 5:05 of the third period. The Wild finished 2-for-3 with the man advantage.
St. Louis did score once more, with 7:24 to go after winger Dmitrij Jaskin put in a loose puck that hit defenseman Nate Prosser en route to the net. Prosser had to be helped off, and the Wild finished the game with only four defensemen; Jonas Brodin left in the second after getting pinned along the boards by winger Vladimir Sobotka.
Prosser was OK after getting hit in the back of the leg, but Boudreau wasn’t sure how serious Brodin’s upper-body injury was — the downside of an otherwise successful night.
“It’s a confidence booster,” Boudreau said, “especially for road play.”