Let's see. A rally from a two-goal deficit with a five-goal surge. Check.
A Blues goalie clubbing a Wild player with his blocker. Check.
And a pair of goalies ready and willing to fight, only to be restrained by the spoilsports in stripes. Check.
Yep. That all happened — in the second period alone — during the Wild's 8-5 victory over the Blues in St. Louis on Wednesday night that extended Minnesota's franchise-record points streak to 14 games (11-0-3) and matched the team record for goals in game. The Wild are one point behind Central Division-leading Dallas.
John Klingberg, Oskar Sundqvist and Mason Shaw scored goals 1:58 apart in the second period — and that was only the appetizer.
Later in the period, Ryan Hartman (two goals, one assist) gave the Wild a 5-4 lead and skated past an enraged Blues goalie Jordan Binnington, who slid well outside of his crease. Hartman made contact with Binnington, who responded by clubbing the center with his blocker.
"We know the type of player he is," Binnington told reporters. "I actually like his game, to be honest. He plays the game hard and I respect it and it's no problem. He knows what he's doing. He's good at it."
On the other end of the ice, Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury took notice. Fleury sprinted down the ice and dropped his gloves to "go" with Binnington. Referees kept the goalies separated, much to the crowd's displeasure. Binnington received a match penalty (game ejection), a five-minute major, and a minor for leaving the crease, while Hartman (roughing) and Fleury (leaving the crease) received minors.
"Jordan jumped our guy. I figured, 'That's my guy. I gotta go help my teammates,' '' Fleury said in a KFXN-FM radio interview. "… I said [to the referees], 'Please, just let us go. People are on their feet. They want to see it.' ''
Wild coach Dean Evason told reporters that the fracas Binnington set off looked like "old-school hockey."
As for Fleury potentially fighting, he said, "You never want to see that, but you certainly want to see teammates sticking together.''
On Thursday, the NHL suspended Binnington for two games.
Said St. Louis coach Craig Berube: "Binner reacted, which I don't have a problem with. I'm not going to condone hitting like he did. That's going to be a match every time. But he's reacting on what Hartman did. ... I'm not going to sit here and say, 'Well he should just take it.'"
During the ensuing four-on-four, Wild defenseman Alex Goligoski scored on a breakaway, beating Thomas Greiss at 13:58 to boost the Minnesota lead to 6-4.
The Wild also got a goal and two assists from Joel Eriksson Ek and 31 saves from Fleury. Ryan Reaves had a goal and an assist but was a fight short of his second consecutive Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist and a fight).
"You lose Kirill [Kaprizov], our top goal-scorer, and naturally it's got to fall on me to pick up the slack,'' Reaves joked. "… When you're missing a guy like that, everybody's got to step up.''
Pavel Buchnevich had a hat trick and Jakub Vrana scored two goals for the Blues.
The game — coincidentally it was "Wrestling Night" and Ric Flair was the guest of honor — certainly didn't start well for the Wild, who trailed 3-1 after one period.
Buchnevich gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead at 4:43 of the first. Fleury couldn't corral a puck at the side of the net after it bounced off the end boards, and the puck trickled into the net. Buchnevich and Matt Dumba fell into Fleury while battling, and the Blues forward got credit for the goal. Wild coach Dean Evason did not challenge the ruling.
The Wild got the game's first power play at 11:30 and tied it when Eriksson Ek jammed home a rebound of a Matt Boldy shot.
St. Louis got its first power play only 17 seconds after Eriksson Ek's on a hooking call on Goligoski. Vrana took a drop pass from Torey Krug, sped into the Wild zone and beat Fleury at 14:10 for a 2-1 lead. Binnington got the second assist.
The Blues stretched the lead to 3-1 at 17:53. Only three seconds after Jon Merrill was called for tripping, Vrana scored after a faceoff win.
The Wild flipped the game in the second.
First, Klingberg cut the lead to 3-2 at 4:54 with his first goal with the Wild. The defenseman skated horizontally at the top of the zone before picking his spot against the grain and beating Binnington.
Sundqvist, a former Blues player who was saluted by the crowd in the first period, tied the score 3-3 at 6:05, slamming a rebound past Binnington after the goalie stopped two Sam Steel shots on the doorstep.
Then at 6:52, Reaves collected the puck in front of the net and found Shaw, who circled around the net, took the pass and found an open net for the 4-3 lead.
St. Louis went on a power play at 9:55 and tied the score 4-4 on a fluky play. Buchnevich's pass first deflected off Dumba, changed direction, hit Merrill's stick and skate, then caromed past Fleury at 11:24.
In the third period, Reaves scored at 2:24 to make it 7-4. Hartman's second goal at 8:31 made it 8-4. Buchnevich completed a hat trick with 5:46 left in the third.
The Wild played without defenseman Jake Middleton, who was a late scratch because of illness; winger Marcus Foligno (lower body); and defenseman Jonas Brodin (lower body).
"There was a lot of stuff, obviously, but the bottom line is we got two points,'' Evason said.
The Star Tribune did not send the writer of this article to the game. This was written using a broadcast, interviews and other material.