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BLUES BEAT WILD 4-1 TO END 3-GAME LOSING STREAK

BLUES BEAT WILD 4-1 TO END 3-GAME LOSING STREAK AP
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Jaden Schwartz and Andy McDonald each had a goal and an assist, Brian Elliott stepped in and made 19 saves, and the St. Louis Blues snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Monday night.

Kevin Shattenkirk and Barret Jackman also scored for St. Louis, which made another major move to strengthen its defense during the game.

During the first intermission, the Blues announced the acquisition of defenseman Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary in exchange for a first-round pick and two prospects - defenseman Mark Cundari and goaltender Reto Berra.

The move comes 48 hours after St. Louis traded for defenseman Jordan Leopold, who played his first game in a Blues sweater Monday.

Dany Heatley scored for the Wild, whose home winning streak ended at four games. Minnesota lost for just the sixth time in its last 21 games overall.

St. Louis began the day out of the playoffs and staring at a stretch in which it plays six of the next seven on the road. Bouwmeester is expected to be on the ice Thursday against Chicago, the top team in the Western Conference.

Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak left the game with 12.5 seconds to go in the first period after sprawling to try and make a save on a slap shot. Halak had missed time previously this season with a groin injury.

Elliott, fresh off a two-game conditioning assignment in the minors, stepped in and stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced, including all 14 in the third period.

Elliott was especially strong early in the third when the Wild unleashed six shots in the opening five minutes.

On the other end, Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom's career-best and team-record eight-game winning streak ended.

Schwartz got a clean look from the right circle midway through the first period and beat Backstrom over his right glove.

In the second, McDonald put his own rebound past Backstrom to make it 2-1 at 12:17. Less than two minutes later, Shattenkirk sent a shot from the point through traffic that made it 3-1.

Led by free-agent signees Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, as well as captain Mikko Koivu, the Wild scored four or more goals in six of their last nine games entering Monday and put themselves in the hunt for the Northwest Division title.

But the exciting trio was kept off the board Monday and the rest of the Wild were unable to pick up the slack.

NOTES: If St. Louis does not qualify for this year's playoffs, the Flames will receive St. Louis' fourth-round selection in this summer's draft, with the first-round pick being deferred to 2014. ... Koivu missed time in the first period after getting hit in the face with Chris Stewart's stick. ... Wild forward Matt Cullen was injured late in the second period and did not play in the third. ... Jake Allen was assigned to AHL Peoria to make room for Elliott. ... The Blues also announced that the Vancouver Canucks have agreed to buy Peoria Rivermen, pending approval from the AHL.

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.
Last modified on Tuesday, 02 April 2013 06:54

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