ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Cal Clutterbuck scored for the third time in two nights, and the Minnesota Wild beat St. Louis 3-1 on Saturday while sending Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak to an early exit.

Cal Clutterbuck Talks After the Game

Halak was pulled for Ty Conklin midway through the second period after Kyle Brodziak’s goal made it 3-0 Minnesota. Antti Miettinen also scored a power-play goal for the Wild, who got another strong start by goalie Niklas Backstrom and outshot the Blues 31-25.

Patrik Berglund scored for St. Louis, but that wasn’t nearly enough.

Clutterbuck, also the NHL leader in hits, leads the team with a career-high 17 goals.

Playing a home-and-home, back-to-back weekend set with the Blues, the Wild stretched their home winning streak to a season-high four games. St. Louis fell to 7-3-1 on the second night of back-to-back games this season.

Minnesota raised its record to 9-2 in its last 11 games, with seven of those victories in regulation and a plus-17 goal differential — excluding shootouts — during that stretch. The Wild also improved to 17-7-1 over the past 25 games.

Outshot the night before in St. Louis 35-27, the Wild answered every Blues goal in regulation with one of their own and won a nine-round shootout. This time, they had a stranglehold on the pace, the flow and the direction of the game, except for a five-minute surge by St. Louis started by Berglund’s goal late in the second period.

The Blues were outshot 12-5 in the first period and nearly spent more time trading punches and shoves with the Wild over the feisty first two periods — Clutterbuck, Cam Barker and Brad Staubitz were the primary tusslers for the home team — than they did on the attack. As the final horn sounded, both teams got in one last fight with David Backes and Clayton Stoner dropping the gloves.

Defenseman Cam Barker After the Game

Brad Staubitz On Big Fight

Backstrom, who has allowed only 10 goals in his last seven starts since returning from a hip injury, gave the Wild another calm and controlled performance. He improved to 18-12-3, even surviving a stretch of about a minute midway through the second period without his stick with the Blues on the attack.

Clayton Stoner On Big Fight That Ended Game

Greg Zanon’s high-sticking call on T.J. Oshie set up a power play for the Blues and a slick 2-on-1 goal for Berglund off a pass from Oshie with 5:12 left before the second intermission. That stopped a streak of 17 straight penalties killed by the Wild, spanning five-plus games.

Head Coach Todd Richards Post-Game News Conference

The Blues picked up the pace over the remainder of the period, but they couldn’t turn it into another score and lost some of that momentum once the final frame began.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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