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Blues outshoot Wild to win season opener

ST. LOUIS - Right winger Nail Yakupov scored one goal and assisted on another to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 win Thursday night over the Minnesota Wild in their home opener.

Oct 13, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Ryan Reaves (75) leaps over Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon (46) during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 13, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Ryan Reaves (75) leaps over Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon (46) during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS - Right winger Nail Yakupov scored one goal and assisted on another to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 win Thursday night over the Minnesota Wild in their home opener.

The Blues outshot the Wild 31 to 20 in opening the season with consecutive wins for the first time since they went 4-0 to begin the 2013-14 season.

After putting the Blues ahead 2-1 with his first goal of the season midway through the second period, Yakupov - the first overall pick in the 2012 draft - set up a goal by left winger Magnus Paajarvi 4:25 into the third period to make it a two-goal game. He set up Paajarvi's goal by making a slick cross-ice pass through the low slow.

Jason Zucker and Charlie Coyle scored for Minnesota in the coaching debut of Bruce Boudreau.

Coyle pulled the Wild within 3-2 off a pass from left Zucker at 12:49 of the third period, but they could not come up with the tying goal.

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After allowing just 19 shots on goal in a 5-2 win over the Blackhawks on Wednesday night in Chicago, the Blues outshot the Wild 14-2 in the opening period. They took a 1-0 lead on left winger Alexander Steen's first goal of the season at 10:51.

One of the two Minnesota shots was a shorthanded breakaway by Zucker, but his shot was turned away by goalie Jake Allen.

The Wild tied the game 3:03 into the second period following a Blues' turnover. Allen stopped the initial shot by defenseman Ryan Suter, but Suter was able to get his own rebound and knocked it into the net.

Yakupov, snapped the tie on a blast from the left circle which went through the glove of goalie Devan Dybnyk at 12:36 of the second period.

NOTES: The Blues made two lineup changes for the second game of their back-to-back games, scratching LW Dmitrij Jaskin and D Robert Bortuzzo, both of whom played Wednesday night in Chicago. Inserted into the lineup were LW Magnus Paajarvi and D Carl Gunnarsson. ... C Eric Staal and RW Teemu Pulkkinen played their first game for the Wild. ... It was the first game against Minnesota for former Wild coach Mike Yeo, fired in February, who was hired by the Blues as an assistant and will take over as the team's head coach next season. ... The Wild will play the Winnipeg Jets in their home opener on Saturday night while the Blues host the New York Rangers.

Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba (24) and St. Louis Blues right wing Scottie Upshall (10) battle for position for a loose puck in the corner during the second period at Scottrade Center. Photo by Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba (24) and St. Louis Blues right wing Scottie Upshall (10) battle for position for a loose puck in the corner during the second period at Scottrade Center. Photo by Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

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