Goals haven't always come easy for the Minnesota Wild this season, but that certainly hasn't been the case of late.
The visiting Wild look to continue their recent offensive surge and match a season high with a fifth straight victory Thursday night against the St. Louis Blues.
Antti Miettinen had two goals with an assist as Minnesota scored three times in the third period to beat Vancouver 5-2 on Wednesday to conclude a 4-0 homestand.
Despite averaging 2.8 goals per game this season, the Wild (24-20-3) have scored 19 goals -- nine in the third period -- during their four-game winning streak. The hot streak follows a four-game skid in which they scored just eight times.
Minnesota is in the midst of its most productive run since totaling 23 goals during a five-game winning streak Nov. 27-Dec. 5.
"If we really believe in ourselves every game and every minute of every game, not just one or two periods of the game, I think we can really be a dangerous team and I think guys are really starting to realize that," said Wild forward Kyle Brodziak, who has two goals and four assists in his last five games.
After a 5-10-0 start, the Wild have gone 19-10-3 to pull within two points of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, the closest they've been since Oct. 9.
"It's a long road still, but I think everybody in the locker room is very confident with the way we are playing," Miettinen said.
Latendresse had two goals in the Wild's 4-3 home win over St. Louis (19-19-7) on Dec. 26. However, Minnesota lost 3-1 at St. Louis on Oct. 23 and is trying to avoid its fourth straight road loss to the Blues.
Niklas Backstrom was in goal for both previous meetings with St. Louis this season, but could get the night off after stopping 29 shots and earning his franchise-record 114th victory Wednesday. If that happens, Josh Harding -- 3-1-0 with a 1.88 lifetime GAA versus St. Louis -- would be in net for this back-to-back scenario.
The Blues look to match a season high with a third straight victory after snapping their five-game home losing streak by beating Columbus 4-1 on Tuesday. Alex Steen had two goals and Jay McClement add one with two assists as St. Louis improved to 7-14-3 at the Scottrade Center -- still the worst home mark in the league.
"It's great to smile in here after a game," said forward David Backes, who has seven assists in his last six games. "To get to hoo-rah it up a little and hopefully build on this effort."
McClement had a goal in the October victory over Minnesota.
Chris Mason made 26 saves to earn the win against Columbus. He's 4-4-2 with a 3.37 GAA in his career versus Minnesota.