ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- After clinching their 25th
straight playoff berth, the St. Louis Blues close out the
regular season Sunday afternoon as they visit the Minnesota
St. Louis' postseason run is the longest in professional sports
and dates to 1979. But for most of the season it appeared in
jeopardy as the Blues endured a slump of nearly three months
that led to the firing of coach Joel Quenneville on February 24.
The Blues were 0-3-2 in coach Mike Kitchen's first five games
but are 10-3-3 in their last 16 contests. They did not clinch
until Saturday's 4-1 win at Nashville and will be the seventh
seed in the Western Conference.
Brian Savage scored the go-ahead goal 2:43 into the third
period. Dallas Drake and defenseman Chris Pronger put away the
contest with empty-net goals.
Minnesota will not have a chance to duplicate its surprising run
to the Western Conference finals from a year ago. But the Wild
will have a chance to finish their fourth season with a winning
The Wild have scored 19 goals in winning four of their last five
games. On Friday, rookie Rickard Wallin scored two goals and
set up another and Marian Gaborik added a goal and two assists
in a 4-2 home win over the Dallas Stars.
Minnesota leads the season series, 1-0-2. After the teams
skated to a pair of ties in St. Louis, the Wild posted a 4-0
home win on February 2 as Wes Walz scored twice.