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Blues hang on to beat Wild in Minnesota's first Winter Classic

The Blues scored five goals in the second period to hand the Wild their fifth straight loss, their longest losing streak of the season.
Credit: AP
Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) controls the puck in front of St. Louis Blues left wing Brandon Saad (20) during the first period of the NHL Winter Classic hockey game Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, at Target Field in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

MINNEAPOLIS — The temperature wasn't the only negative thing to come out of the Minnesota Wild's first-ever Winter Classic appearance. The St. Louis Blues used a persistent offensive attack to defeat the Wild 6-4 Saturday night at Target Field.

It was the first time the State of Hockey hosted the annual event, and at 8 below zero when the opening puck dropped, it's also the coldest outdoor game in the NHL history.

St. Louis center Jordan Kyrou had four points, including two goals, in the second period alone to help the Blues hand the Wild their fifth straight loss, their longest losing streak of the season.

Kirill Kaprizov, Rem Pitlick, Ryan Hartman and Kevin Fiala each scored for the Wild, and goalie Cam Talbot was replaced after two periods, despite a solid performance in the first period.

The St. Louis Blues got the scoring started in the first when David Perron snuck a deflected puck past Talbot with just under six minutes to play. It was the lone mistake in the opening frame for Talbot, who kept the Wild close by stopping 13 of 14 shots in the first period.

Kaprizov, with a little puck luck, provided a much-needed spark for the Wild by finding the back of the net just 25 seconds after the Blues opened the scoring. Kaprizov threw a puck to a trailing Mats Zuccarello, but the pass caromed off the traffic in front of the net and slipped past Blues goalie Jordan Binnington to level the score at 1-all.

Kyrou needed just 27 seconds to give the Blues a second-period lead, and Vladimir Tarasenko made it a two-goal advantage off a quick one-timer less than nine minutes later. Kyrou's second goal of the period gave St. Louis a 5-1 lead before the Wild's Rem Pitlick, a former Minnesota Gopher, scored late in the period to make it 5-2. Torey Krug capped off a five-goal second period for the Blues to give St. Louis the 6-2 lead entering the third.

Kaapo Kahkonen took over for Calbot to start the third period after Talbot stopped just 22 of 28 shots. Hartman and Fiala each scored in the third period to make the game interesting in the final six minutes, but it wasn't enough in the end. Kaprizov assisted on both third-period goals to finish with three points.

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