MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The St. Louis Blues boarded their bus to the game in a humorous ensembleofshorts,Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops, lightening the mood before the coldest outdoor game in NHL history.
Jordan Kyrou and his linematesmadetheWinter Classic look like a day at the beach.
Kyrou had two goals and two assists in a five-goal second period, and the Blues cruised to a 6-4 win over the MinnesotaWildwithafaceoff temperature of minus-5.7 degrees on Saturday night.
This was the first of 33 outdoor games the league has played with a temperature below zero. David Perron got the Blues on the board in the first period. Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev and Torey Krug joined Kyrou by scoring in the second, and Robert Thomas pitched in with two assists. Jordan Binnington made 29 saves for the Blues, whoare11-1-2intheirlast14 games against the rival Wild.
Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists for the Wild, who trailed 6-2 at the second intermission and pulled goalie Cam Talbot after 22 saves in two periods in favor of Kaapo Kahkonen. Talbot had a lower- body injury, coach Dean Evason said.
Rem Pitlick, Ryan Hartman and Kevin Fiala also scored for the Wild, who pulled within 6-4 on Fiala’s 6-on-5 goal with 5:38 remaining after Kahkonen was pulled for the extra skater, but they were in too big of a hole.
“It’s cold for both teams. The ice is bouncy for both teams. They just outplayed us for 40 minutes, easy. We didn’t play smart hockey like we’ve been doing most of the time this year,” right wing Mats Zuccarello said.
Talbot, who posted an outdoor shutout for Edmonton in the Heritage Classic in 2016, wore a forest green stocking cap on top of his mask to match Minnesota’s jerseys. He didn’t have much help. The Wild were missing their two best defensemen, captain Jared Spurgeon (lower-body injury) and Jonas Brodin (COVID-19 protocols), and allowed 14 shots on goal in each of the first two periods.
“It’s hard to reflect now, obviously, but I think once we look back on it it’ll be an exciting experience,” Evason said. “Just ended a little bit bitter, that’s all.”
The Blues were the sharper team, having beaten Edmonton 4-2 on Wednesday behind a goal and two assists from Kyrou in his return from a four-game absence due to an upper-body injury.
Perron deposited a rebound past Talbot’s blocker with 5:31 left in the first period after O’Reilly’s shot deflected off Wild defenseman Jon Merrill’s skate.
Kaprizov tied the game 25 seconds later by banking the puck off Blues defenseman Niko Mikkola’s skate, but Kyrou put St. Louis in front for good 27 seconds in to the second period on yet another bad-bounce goal that glanced off Hartman. Kyrou’s four points are the most in 13 editions of the Winter Classic, the main outdoor event the NHL made for TV on New Year’s Day.
The Blues play at Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
The Wild play at Boston on Thursday.