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.
Kennedy (1-0) allowed two runs on five hits with one walk.
St. Louis' Adam Wainwright (0-1) went six innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on 11 hits. He struck out six with no walks.
Arizona's Gerardo Parra matched his career best with four hits, three of them doubles. Rookie A.J. Pollock was 3 for 4, including a two-run double, and Martin Prado doubled twice with an RBI and two runs scored for the Diamondbacks.
Matt Holliday had an RBI double and Daniel Descalso a run-scoring single for St. Louis.
The Diamondbacks' seven doubles were more than they had in any game in the last two seasons.
Kennedy, 15-12 last year after going 21-4 in 2011, dominated after giving up consecutive one-out doubles to Matt Carpenter and Holliday to put St. Louis up 1-0 in the first.
David Hernandez threw a perfect eighth and Brad Ziegler did the same in the ninth for the Diamondbacks.
Arizona scored three times off Wainwright in the fourth.
After one-out singles by Miguel Montero and Paul Goldschmidt, Jason Kubel lofted an RBI double to right-center to tie it at 1. Pollock, starting because of injuries to Adam Eaton and Cody Ross, lined a double off the glove of center fielder Jon Jay to bring in two and Arizona led 3-1.
The Diamondbacks added an unearned run on second baseman Descalso's throwing error in the fifth. Prado, acquired from Atlanta in the Justin Upton trade, doubled to deep right-center, then Aaron Hill hit a slow grounder to second. Descalso threw in the dirt trying to throw to first and the ball bounced off the glove of first baseman Allen Craig as Prado raced home to make it 4-1.
Arizona got two more in the seventh. With Fernando Salas on the mound, Parra and Prado doubled, then Hill singled. Marc Rzepczynski relieved Salas and gave up an RBI sacrifice fly to Montero.
Notes: Entering the game, Kennedy was 1-3 against Cardinals with an 8.59 ERA. ... Kennedy was the winning pitcher when Arizona beat San Francisco in its season opener a year ago. .. Former Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb, whose career was cut short by arm trouble, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Wainwright made his second career opening day start. ... The Cardinals send left-hander Jaime Garcia to the mound Tuesday night while the Diamondbacks go with right-hander Trevor Cahill. ... The only other Arizona rookie with three hits on opening day was Travis Lee, who did it in the Diamondbacks' first game in 1998. ... Attendance was a sellout of 48,033.
(ST. LOUIS) – St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong announced Monday the club has acquired defenseman Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary in exchange for minor league defenseman Mark Cundari, the rights to goaltender Reto Berra as well as a conditional 1st round pick in 2013. If the Blues miss the playoffs this season, the Flames will receive the Blues' fourth round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and St. Louis' first round pick in the 2014 draft.
“We've been looking to acquire a top left handed defenseman and Jay represents that and is an elite player in our game,” said Armstrong.
Bouwmeester, 29, has dressed in 33 games for the Flames this season posting 15 points (six goals, nine assists) and 16 penalty minutes while ranking 13th among all defenseman in time on ice per game (25:09). The 6’4, 212-pound defenseman has appeared in 10 National Hockey League (NHL) season, including stints with Florida and Calgary, recording 300 points (71 goals, 229 assists) and 463 penalty minutes in 750 career games. In addition, Bouwmeester has played in 621 consecutive NHL games.
The Edmonton, Alberta native was originally drafted by Florida in the first round (3rd overall) of the 2002 Entry Draft. Bouwmeester will not count against the Blues 23 man roster until he clears through immigration procedures.
And yet, buoyed by the best record in spring training, hope abounds - for the Royals, for most everybody putting on a big league uniform.
"There's no reason we shouldn't be better," said Butler, the Royals' All-Star slugger. "How much better that is? I'm not a mind reader. I'm not a projector."
Ah, opening day.
The hot dogs taste better, the boxscores mean more and most every team thinks it's just a break or two away from reaching the World Series.
A dozen games were set for Monday across the majors. Star pitchers Justin Verlander, Stephen Strasburg and Adam Wainwright try to get off to great starts, old rivalries are renewed at Yankee Stadium and Dodger Stadium, and a quirky interleague schedule unfolds.
No snow is in the forecast for any ballpark on April Fools' Day, but freezing temperatures are expected at Target Field in Minnesota when Verlander and the AL champion Tigers take on the Twins.
"It's going to be cold but I've pitched in that kind of weather before," Verlander said. "I don't think about it. It's always cold in Detroit on opening day."
The season started Sunday night in Houston when the Astros, who shifted from the National League to the American League during the winter, beat the Texas Rangers 8-2. Astros righty Bud Norris threw a called strike to Ian Kinsler to begin the year, and Houston's Jose Altuve singled for the first hit.
Long the site of baseball's traditional opener, Cincinnati was going to have a new look Monday. That's when Josh Hamilton and his new Los Angeles Angels teammates visit Cincinnati in the first interleague matchup this season.
The Astros' move left 15 teams in each league, meaning an AL vs. NL matchup most every day this season.
"It is very strange," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
On both coasts, there was a very familiar look - Red Sox-Yankees and Giants-Dodgers.
Mariano Rivera was set for his final opening day when the banged-up Yankees hosted Boston. The New York closer is among several big names who missed most or even all of last year - Troy Tulowitzki, Victor Martinez and John Lackey are in that group.
Injured stars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira won't be in pinstripes for the first pitch.
"It's still the Yankees, it's still going to be a good lineup," Boston starter Jon Lester said Sunday. "They're missing a few of their big guys but anybody that fills in for them, it's like what I said, they're going to put professional at-bats together and still - it's not going to be a walk in the park."
No easy decisions, either, for Boston manager John Farrell, one of six new skippers in the majors this year.
At Dodger Stadium, Matt Cain starts for the World Series champion San Francisco Giants when they play Los Angeles in the century-old rivalry.
It will mark the 64th season at the microphone for Dodgers announcer Vin Scully. Heck, Tigers manager Jim Leyland seems like a mere pup by comparison, now starting his 50th year in pro ball.
All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez is sidelined for the Dodgers. Around the majors, third basemen Chase Headley of San Diego, David Freese of St. Louis and Brett Lawrie of Toronto will begin the season on the disabled list.
Mets third baseman David Wright plans to be in the lineup at Citi Field to take on San Diego. He hurt his ribcage at the World Baseball Classic.
"I feel good physically," Wright said. "It would have been nice to have maybe a few more at-bats toward the end, but I didn't have that luxury."
On Tuesday, there are two more openers - Baltimore at Tampa Bay, and Cleveland at revamped Toronto.
All 30 teams will pay tribute to the 20 children and six adults killed last December at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Players, managers, coaches and umpires will wear a memorial patch through Tuesday that includes the seal of Newtown, a black ribbon and 26 stars, and there will be a moment of silence at each stadium.
Seven weeks after teams broke out the bats and balls, players seemed ready to get going.
"I'm really prepared. Well, finally spring training is over, it was a long one," Seattle ace Felix Hernandez said Sunday, a day before his start in Oakland.
"It's another season. We're a different team. It's always special, opening day, not for me but for all the guys," he said.
The Louisville Cardinals.
While the other No. 1s have fallen by the wayside, the top overall seed romped to the Georgia Dome with four dominant wins in the NCAA tournament. And, if the Cardinals need any extra motivation, they've got it.
Sophomore guard Kevin Ware, who played his high school ball in the Atlanta suburbs, sustained a gruesome injury in Sunday's regional final against Duke. Before he headed off to surgery, he courageously urged his teammates to finish the job.
Now, they would like nothing more than to win it all for Ware.
"We talked about it every timeout, `Get Kevin home,'" coach Rick Pitino said.
Next stop, the A-T-L, where three rather unlikely teams will be looking to knock off the mighty Cardinals.
First up, the surprising Shockers from Wichita State in the semifinals Saturday. The No. 9 seed has already pulled off two major upsets, but this would be the biggest stunner yet.
If Louisville makes it through to next Monday night's title game, the opponent would be either Michigan, sporting a new group of Fab Wolverines, or Syracuse, which comes at you with the stingiest zone defense in college basketball. The two No. 4 seeds will meet in the other semifinal game.
All are underdogs to the Cardinals, who are winning by an average of nearly 22 points a game in the tournament.
"I thought we had a chance there, and then boom," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who watched Louisville pull away for an 85-63 victory in the Midwest Regional final. "That's what they do to teams. They can boom you."
In the other game Sunday, Michigan captured the South Regional with a 79-59 rout of Florida, leading from the opening tip. A day earlier, Syracuse shut down Marquette 55-39 to win the East Regional, while Wichita State punched its Final Four ticket with a 70-66 upset of Ohio State out West.
In the final year of the Big East before it splits into two new conferences, Louisville and Syracuse provided a fitting send-off to a league that quickly became a basketball powerhouse after it was founded in 1979.
Before it goes, this version of the Big East has a shot at one more national title.
With two teams, no less.
The Cardinals - who, like Syracuse, are moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference - shook off the incredible shock of Ware's injury with about 6 1/2 minutes to go before halftime and blew out the second-seeded Blue Devils. The sophomore snapped his lower right leg after coming down awkwardly while defending a 3-point shot. The injury occurred right in front of the Louisville bench, where the players gasped and turned away quickly at the sight of Ware's dangling leg, which was broken in two places.
Russ Smith collapsed onto the floor, along with several players, and was crying as doctors attended to Ware. While Ware was loaded onto a stretcher, the Cardinals gathered at midcourt until Pitino called them over, saying the injured player wanted to talk to them before he left.
"All he kept saying - and remember, the bone is 6 inches out of his leg - all he's yelling is, `Win the game! Win the game!'" Pitino said. "I've never seen that in my life. We're all distraught and all he's saying is, `Win the game.' Kevin is a special young man."
This is a special team. Smith scored 23 points. Gorgui Dieng had 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.
The Cardinals (33-5) simply refused to lose, breaking open a game that was tied at 42. They dove on the floor for loose balls. They pounded the boards ferociously. They contested every shot and swarmed around the Blue Devils like they had an extra player on the court.
In a sense, they did, as Pitino reminded them during every timeout.
"This is a gritty bunch," the coach said. "From the beginning of the year to now, they've not had a bad game. I'm really proud of these guys."
Wichita State was the most improbable team to advance. The Shockers lived up to their nickname in the West, knocking off top-seeded Gonzaga in the second round and No. 2 seed Ohio State in the regional final Saturday night.
Wichita State (30-8) built a 20-point lead on the Buckeyes, then managed to hang on through a nerve-racking final five minutes to pull off the latest upset in a tournament filled with them.
That other team from Kansas isn't content yet.
"It feels very good," said Cleanthony Early, a junior forward who, like most of his teammates, was passed over by higher-profile programs, "but we understand the fact that we've got to stay hungry and humble, because we've got two more games left to really be excited about."
Old-timers might remember Louisville and Wichita State as former conference rivals. The Cardinals were a member of the Missouri Valley Conference in the 1960s and `70s, which meant annual games against the Shockers.
Louisville holds a 19-5 edge in the series, but the teams haven't played since 1976.
Michigan (30-7) is headed back to the Final Four for the first time since the Fab Five era of the early 1990s, when the Wolverines lost in back-to-back national title games.
This team has the same youthful feel, led by sophomore Trey Burke, the Big Ten player of the year, and three freshmen starters. They were downright fabulous against third-seeded Florida, never seriously threatened after scoring the first 13 points.
"A lot of guys said we were really young and that we couldn't get here," said Burke, who scored 15 points against Florida but really came through in an improbable comeback against top-seeded Kansas in the regional semifinals. "We're here now and we still have unfinished business."
One of the freshmen, Nik Stauskas, hit all six of his 3-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the Wolverines. Another of the youngsters, 6-foot-10 Mitch McGary, chipped in with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Florida became the first team to lose three straight regional finals.
The Wolverines will have their work cut out against Syracuse (30-9), a team that has totally stuffed its NCAA opponents with a stifling zone defense. The Orange are headed to their first Final Four since winning it all in 2003 largely because they have allowed fewer than 46 points a game in the tournament.
Syracuse leads the series against Michigan 8-5. Their last meeting was Nov. 26, 2010, when the Orange prevailed 53-50 in the Legends Classic at Atlantic City, N.J.
The schools have never met in the NCAA tournament.
Syracuse has been like an octopus when it settles in around the its own lane - shutting off passing routes, preventing anyone from penetrating, yet still managing to defend the 3-point line with quickness and long arms. Montana, California, top-seeded Indiana and Marquette combined to make just under 29 percent from the field (61 of 211) and a paltry 15.4 percent (14 of 91) outside the arc.
"We were as active these two games here in Washington as we've ever been," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said after Saturday's win over league rival Marquette, which is headed to a new version of the Big East next season. "I just really can't say enough about how good these guys played on the defensive end of the court."
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Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist, and Trevor Lewis and Justin Williams also scored for the Kings. Jarret Stoll assisted on Lewis' goal, giving him 100 with Los Angeles.
The win gives the Kings only their second sweep of a season series against St. Louis after first doing it in 2005-06. Los Angeles has beaten the Blues eight straight times, including a 4-0 sweep in last season's Western Conference semifinals.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored both goals and Jaroslav Halak made 36 saves for the Blues, who have lost four of their last five.
Richards capitalized when Halak gave up a rebound on a soft shot. The puck went to the right side of the net, but came back in front and Richards eventually jammed it in for his 10th goal.
Williams closed the door on an empty-netter with 1:16 remaining.
Tarasenko tied it for the second time when he shoved home a puck that had drifted through Quick at 6:44 of the third period to make it 2-2. The Blues rookie had also knotted the score at 1 when he put his own rebound past Quick at 10:55 of the second period.
Lewis made it 2-1 at 12:49 of the second when he corralled a bouncing pass from Stoll to the right of the Blues' goal and sneaked a backhander past Halak.
Notes: Blues G Brian Elliott, who is 3-6-1 with a 3.56 goals against average and has not played since March 5, agreed to go to Peoria of the AHL for conditioning. Elliott led the NHL in goals against average last season (1.56) and helped the team win the Jennings Trophy. ... Anze Kopitar had an assist, giving him 22 points in his last 19 games. ... Tarasenko's first goal snapped an 0-for-12 streak on the power play for St. Louis.
The No. 4-seeded Orange won't have that element in their favor in the NCAA tournament's East Regional final.
That's because Syracuse will face a familiar foe Saturday with a Final Four berth at stake: Big East rival Marquette, the East's No. 3 seed.
"We're much better when we play teams that don't know us," Boeheim said. "Marquette knows us. They know how to play against us, so it will be very difficult."
Paced by Michael Carter-Williams' 24 points, Syracuse reached the round of eight with some dominant defense during a 61-50 victory over top-seeded Indiana in the regional semifinals Thursday night. The Orange forced 19 turnovers, blocked 10 shots, and limited the Hoosiers to 33 percent shooting while holding them to their lowest scoring output of the season.
"Our perimeter defense was tremendous," Boeheim said in an arena hallway afterward, his arms crossed across his purple tie, the way he stood for much of the lopsided game. "This is one of our best defensive teams ever. They play it well."
There's an understatement.
"In practice, it's hard to simulate how tall they really are," said Indiana's Jordan Hulls, a 6-foot senior who was at least 4 inches shorter than the players usually guarding him and went 0 for 6 on 3-point tries. "We had the right game plan. We prepared really well. But we had too many turnovers."
Three more, in fact, than shots made (16).
"Let's face facts. We haven't seen a zone like that," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "They're very good. They're where they're at for a reason."
Next up is Marquette (26-8), which beat No. 2 seed Miami 71-61 in Thursday's first game in Washington.
Syracuse (29-9), heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference this summer, lost at Marquette 74-71 during the Big East regular season on Feb. 25.
That was part of a stretch in which Syracuse lost four of five games. Since then, though, the Orange are 6-1, with the only loss coming against Louisville in the conference tournament final. In that game, Syracuse fell apart in the second half, going from a 16-point lead to trailing by 18 in a 13-minute span.
The Orange built an 18-point lead in the first half against Indiana, and while that dwindled to six early in the second half, Boeheim's squad never let it get closer than that.
The last time these two schools faced off in the NCAA tournament, Indiana won the 1987 championship on a late shot - and it took winning the 2003 national title with Carmelo Anthony for Boeheim to get over it. That decade-old group was also Syracuse's last visit to the Final Four.
Less than a half-minute into Thursday's game, as Indiana star Victor Oladipo headed to the free-throw line, the arena's overhead scoreboard showed a replay of "The Shot," as it's come to be known - Keith Smart's baseline jumper in the final seconds that lifted Bob Knight's Hoosiers past Boeheim's Orange.
Boeheim entered Thursday with 50 wins in the tournament, fourth-most in history, and more than 900 victories overall, with so much of that success built on his unusual zone defense, 40 minutes of a puzzle for opponents to try and solve.
Indiana (29-7), like most teams outside the Big East, isn't used to seeing that sort of thing, and it showed right from the outset. Didn't matter that Indiana ranked third in the country this season in scoring, putting up 79.5 points per game - and never fewer than 56 - while making 48.6 percent of its shots.
"Not too many teams are used to our zone," said Brandon Triche, who scored 14 points Thursday and whose uncle, Howard, was on Boeheim's 1987 squad. "That's what we play. Other teams that play zone, they (also) play man, they switch up defenses. But our main (thing) is zone. ... We're very long, and we're very active, and when we're active like we were today, we're hard to score on."
Cody Zeller was held to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting. Oladipo scored 16 for Indiana, none easily.
"Credit them," Oladipo said, his head bowed and voice hushed. "They did a great job with their zone. They're well-coached."
Boeheim looked on calmly, occasionally resting his chin on his right fist while seated. He seemed something like an interested observer rather than active participant in the proceedings.
Sure must have liked what he saw, though.
"They never really succeeded in getting the ball in the right places," Boeheim said about the Hoosiers. "And it's not that easy, but it can be done. But they didn't know how to do that."
JUPITER, FL (AP) - Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals have agreed to a new contract that guarantees the Cardinals' ace an additional $97.5 million over five years through 2018.
Wainwright had been eligible to become a free agent after the World Series.
The new agreement, first reported by FoxSports.com, was confirmed by a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because it had not yet been announced. The Cardinals scheduled a news conference today at their spring training camp in Jupiter, Fla.
A 31-year-old right-hander, Wainwright was 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA last year after missing the Cardinals' World Series championship season in 2011 because of elbow surgery.
Wainwright was 20-11 with a 2.42 ERA in 2010 and was an NL All-Star.
Freese joined St. Louis closer Jason Motte on the DL. The Cardinals earlier this spring lost shortstop Rafael Furcal for the year with an elbow injury and pitcher Chris Carpenter with a potential career-ending nerve injury.
Utilityman Matt Carpenter is expected to start the season at third in place of Freese, the 2011 World Series and NL championship series MVP. Freese, who will be 30 next month, hit .293 with career best of 20 homers, 79 RBIs and 144 games last season.
Carpenter played at five positions last year and added second base this spring. He batted .294 with six homers and 46 RBIs in 296 at-bats last year. Carpenter, 27, has 26 career starts in two seasons at third.
Infielder Ryan Jackson was recalled from Triple-A Memphis. Left-hander Sam Freeman was optioned to Triple-A.
In 12 spring training games, Freese was batting .267 with two home runs and five RBIs. The move was retroactive to Saturday
Jackson was optioned to the minors on March 17 after appearing in 17 spring training games. Freeman made two exhibition appearances.