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National Hockey League
Preview
St. Louis at Minnesota
When: 3:00 PM ET, Sunday, April 26, 2015
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

With home ice not presenting much of an advantage, the St. Louis Blues hope to continue that trend and stave off elimination when they visit the Minnesota Wild on Sunday afternoon in Game 6 of their Western Conference first-round series. The Wild bounced back from a 6-1 drubbing at home in Game 4 with a 4-1 victory in St. Louis to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

"Game 6 is obviously going to be a great challenge," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. "I think we're very aware that home ice has not been a huge advantage in this series. That's going to be a great challenge." The Blues, champions of the Central Division, are trying to avoid their third consecutive first-round ouster after blowing 2-0 series leads in the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. “This thing’s going to push you right to the brink multiple times,” St. Louis defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said, “so it’s a good test for us to regroup here and bring this thing back to home ice in Game 7.” The teams have alternated wins and losses in the first five games, with the last four contests decided by at least three goals.

TV: 3 p.m. ET, NBC

ABOUT THE BLUES: Vladimir Taranseko scored his playoff-leading sixth goal for an early lead but St. Louis was unable to add to the total despite pouring a series-high 37 shots on Devan Dubnyk. Rookie Jake Allen, who supplanted Brian Elliott down the stretch of the regular season, had his first shaky outing in nearly two months, snapping his string of 11 consecutive starts having permitted two goals or fewer. Rookie center Jori Lehtera, who sat out Game 5 due to a lower-body injury, skated "full" during Saturday's optional practice, coach Ken Hitchcock said.

ABOUT THE WILD: Dubnyk was pierced for six goals in Game 4 in his worst performance since joining Minnesota in mid-January, but hours after he was named a Vezina Trophy finalist, he was immense in improving to 12-1-2 following a defeat. "He was awesome," Wild center Charlie Coyle said. "We knew he was going to respond. He's always responded well since he's been here after every loss. Always has that positive attitude which is huge and it kind of wears off on us." Zach Parise earned an assist Friday to give him a team-high five points in the series.

OVERTIME

1. Minnesota's power play ranks first in the postseason with a 36.4 success rate (4-of-11).

2. Tarasenko has 10 goals in 12 career postseason games.

3. The Wild's only home win in the past five contests (1-3-1) was a 3-0 victory in Game 3.

PREDICTION: Blues 3, Wild 2 (OT)
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
St. Louis 53-27-3-4 L1 28-14-1-1 25-13-2-3 8-3-1-0 45-24-2-4 19-14-0-1
Minnesota 49-30-5-3 W1 23-14-4-2 26-16-1-1 4-5-0-0 45-25-5-3 20-10-3-1
Last Meeting
St. Louis Minnesota
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
4/24/15 MIN 4 STL 1 37 15 1-2 19 36 1-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
St. Louis J. Schwartz 1
Minnesota C. Coyle 1
Goals Player  
St. Louis V. Tarasenko 1
Minnesota C. Coyle 1
Assists Player  
St. Louis J. Schwartz 1
Minnesota Z. Parise 1
Saves Player  
St. Louis J. Allen 15
Minnesota D. Dubnyk 36
Season
Total Points Player  
St. Louis V. Tarasenko 86
Minnesota Z. Parise 72
Goals Player  
St. Louis V. Tarasenko 47
Minnesota Z. Parise 36
Assists Player  
St. Louis K. Shattenkirk 46
Minnesota J. Pominville 43
Saves Player  
St. Louis B. Elliott 1129
Minnesota D. Dubnyk 1102
Quickchart Matchup
St. Louis Off vs  Minnesota Def
2.9 GF
2.43 GA
30.6 Shots
27.5 Shots
58 PP
34 PK
Minnesota Off vs  St. Louis Def
2.76 GF
2.41 GA
30.3 Shots
27 Shots
43 PP
46 PK