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Blues top Wild to take stranglehold on series

St. Louis Blues left wing Alexander Steen celebrates with defenseman Jay Bouwmeester centre Patrik Berglund and centre Vladimir Sobotka after he scored an empty net goal against the Minnesota Wild during the third period.

Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports

Jaden Schwartz scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Jake Allen made 40 saves to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday for a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Colton Parayko also scored for the Blues and Alexander Steen added an empty-netter for St. Louis, which will try to sweep the series Wednesday night in St. Louis.

Charlie Coyle scored for Minnesota, which got 28 saves from Devan Dubnyk.

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Schwartz had a power-play goal at 15:19 of the second period to put the Blues one win away from the second round. He scored with 2:27 left in the third period of Game 2 to give St. Louis the 2-1 win.

Allen was the star of the first two games. He stopped 74 of 76 shots for a .974 save percentage against a Wild team that ranked second in the NHL in scoring during the regular season.

The Blues scored just 3:25 into the first period when Parayko beat Dubnyk high with a shot from the high slot after a nice pass from Patrik Berglund. The goal was the third in 23 playoff games for Parayko, who scored four goals in 81 games this season.

St. Louis outshot Minnesota 15-9 in the first period, but couldn't build on its early lead. Vladimir Tarasenko and Steen both hit the post.

Minnesota tied it with a goal from Coyle with 7:01 left in the second period. Coyle scored off a rebound of a shot from Zach Parise, giving the Wild their first even-strength goal of the series and Parise his third point in three games.

The Blues scored their first power-play goal of the series from Schwartz with 4:41 remaining in the second period. Schwartz, who took a high stick from Ryan White to earn the penalty, scored his second goal of the series off a pass from Steen behind the net.

Minnesota put 19 shots on goal in the third period, but couldn't beat Allen.

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The Wild pulled Dubnyk for an extra attacker with 2:10 remaining and Steen scored his first of the playoffs, assisted by Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka, into the empty net with 1:11 left.

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