Wild look to get back to their defensive ways - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Wild look to get back to their defensive ways

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St. Louis (10-10-2) at Minnesota (14-8-1) 8:00 p.m. EST

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Defense has been the calling

card of the Minnesota Wild this season but it seems to have

abandoned them of late.

The Wild will be looking to bounce back from their worst

defensive performance of the season when they host the St. Louis

Blues on Wednesday.

Minnesota had allowed four goals in a game only three times this

season before a 6-5 setback against Colorado on Monday.

Starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom allowed six goals on 26

shots before being pulled after two periods.

Despite the ugly loss, the Wild still lead the NHL in goals

allowed with 53 in 23 games and their penalty killing unit ranks

second in the league with an 88.8 conversion rate.

Minnesota has also been finding its groove offensively, totaling

15 goals over the last three games and averaging 4.4 goals in

the last five contests. Pierre-Marc Bouchard has three goals in

the last two games after going nine games straight without a

tally.

The Blues are coming off a 4-2 win at Atlanta which snapped a

two-game slide. Brad Boyes tallied in the win and has four

goals in the last five games.

Keith Tkachuk collected his 1,000th career point on a goal in

the second period against the Thrashers.

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