ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kevin Shattenkirk and the St. Louis Blues finally figured out how to win in a shootout.
Pick up the pace a little.
Shattenkirk scored the only goal in the shootout, and Jaroslav Halak made three saves in the tiebreaker as the Blues beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Saturday night.
“When I go a little too slow, I tend to think about it too much and, that’s not good,” Shattenkirk said. “I went with a little speed, I saw it, and I went for it.”
St. Louis improved to an NHL-best 18-3-3 at home with its first shootout win of the season.
The Blues, who have won five of six, are 10-0-2 in their last 12 home games. They had been 0-5 in shootouts and had scored on just 1-of-17 attempts. Shattenkirk changed all that by scoring for the first time in three tries.
Halak did the rest, stopping Matt Cullen, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi to break his 0-9 shootout record. Halak improved to 8-0-3 in his last 11 games and hasn’t lost in regulation since Nov. 22.
He took a laid-back approach to his pressure-packed sixth shootout of the season.
“I was 0-and-5 and I figured if we lost, I’d be 0-and-6, so it really doesn’t matter,” Halak said. “At least we’d be getting one point.”
Jamie Langenbrunner and T.J. Oshie failed to score for St. Louis, which improved to 20-5-6 under coach Ken Hitchcock.
The Blues became the last Western Conference team to gain a shootout victory.
“I think this is a big weight off of everybody’s shoulders,” Hitchcock said. “That’s as much joy as I’ve seen on the bench in a long time.”
David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo scored for St. Louis in a span of 2:35 in the second period to erase the Blues’ 1-0 deficit.
David McIntyre and Jared Spurgeon had goals for the Wild, 0-7-2 in their last nine road outings.
The Blues moved into a tie with Chicago for first place in the Central Division with 58 points — one fewer than Vancouver in the Western Conference race.
Spurgeon tied the game for the Wild 2-2 with his third goal of the season.
Pietrangelo broke a 1-1 tie with a power-play goal midway through the second period. He has two goals and seven assists in a career-high, six-game point streak.
Perron tied it at 1 with his third goal midway though the second period. He put in a rebound of a shot by Chris Stewart. Perron returned to the lineup on Dec. 3 after missing 97 games because of a concussion.
Minnesota goalie Josh Harding made a season-high 47 saves. Harding entered the game with a 6-2 career mark against St. Louis and turned in one of his finest efforts of the season, but fell to 8-5-3. He was pulled from Thursday’s 5-2 loss at Chicago after giving up four goals on 21 shots.
“I wanted to come out and give the team a boost,” Harding said. “We wanted to get back to the basics and come up with a good effort. I think we did that.”
McIntyre gave the Wild a 1-0 lead with his first NHL goal at 7:13 of the first period. McIntyre, recalled from Houston of the AHL on Monday, deflected in a shot from Cullen.
The game featured six fighting majors and a combined 52 hits. Minnesota’s Justin Falk and St. Louis’ David Backes got into a fight just 58 seconds in.
“Right from the drop of the puck, we weren’t going to be pushovers,” Falk said. “We went after them hard.”
Wild coach Mike Yeo was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We came into the building of a team that’s got the best (home) record in the NHL,” Yeo said. “And we had a chance to get two points. That, for me, is a really impressive effort from our guys.”
Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu sustained an undisclosed upper body injury on a hit by Vladimir Sobotka in the first period and didn’t return. Koivu appeared to injure a shoulder.
“We’ll wait until he gets evaluated and then see what happens next,” Yeo said.
NOTES: St. Louis LW Alex Steen missed his eighth game with concussion-like symptoms. … The Wild have been involved in 24 one-goal games. … Minnesota G Niklas Backstrom didn’t play due to the flu. … The Blues are 4-0-2 this month after winning just two games last January. … St. Louis failed to score in the first period for the first time in 11 home games.
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