Husso makes 31 stops for first NHL shutout, Blues beat Wild

Ville Husso stopped 31 shots for his first career shutout and David Perron had a goal and two assists in the St. Louis Blues’ 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night

ST. LOUIS — Ville Husso stopped 31 shots for his first career shutout and David Perron had a goal and two assists in the St. Louis Blues’ 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.

Torey Krug, Ivan Barbashev and Jaden Schwartz also scored. The Blues have won two in a row and seven of 11.

After winning four of its previous five, Minnesota was locked into the third spot in the West Division with the loss. St. Louis had already nailed down the fourth spot.

The teams will finish the regular season Thursday night in St. Louis.

Husso improved to 9-6-1. It was the first shutout of the season for the Blues leaving Buffalo as the only team without a shutout in this truncated 56-game season.

“When I came to the rink, I was just thinking to have fun tonight,” Husso said “There was no pressure for our team. It worked out pretty well. It was nice.”

Husso made 13 saves in the opening period as the Wild created a host of good chances.

“If it wasn’t for him the score definitely looks a little bit different tonight,” Krug said.

St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko saved the puck for Husso, who said his parents were watching back home in Helsinki, Finland. where the contest began just after 4 a.m.

“Early on, he made some key saves,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. “(Minnesota) came out hard and we were caught on our heels a little bit. He played a heck of a game.”

Perron pushed his points total to a team-high 55 (17 goals, 38 assists) in 55 games.

“Our energy was up, it was a lot better,” Perron said. “Our details, we’ve got to keep harping on that, same with the execution.”

Barbashev stuffed in the rebound of Perron’s shot midway through the first period. Schwartz scored while falling to the ice to push the lead to 2-0 late in the opening period.

Krug scored his first goal since Jan. 23 off a pass from Ryan O’Reilly midway through the second period.

The Blues have reached the post-season for the third year in a row and the ninth time in the last 10 seasons. They will face either Vegas or Colorado.

“I don’t know if they want to play us,” Krug said. “We’re going to be a tough out.”

Cam Talbot made 23 saves for the Wild. He was 5-0-2 in his previous seven road games.

“The mistakes that we made were clearly assignment mistakes that allowed for wide open opportunities.” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. “Those things are hopefully easily corrected.”

THEY WILL COME

The Blues announced they will increase capacity to 5,000 for the upcoming playoffs. They were limited to 4,100 fans per game during the regular season.

HE’S BACK

St. Louis right wing Klim Kostin made his season debut after helping Avangard Omsk of the KHL to the Gagarin Cup championship late last month.

The first-round draft choice spent the last seven days in quarantine after arriving last week from Russia. He scored one goal in four games with St. Louis last season.

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