St. Louis Blues Look to Avoid Elimination in Game 6 Against Minnesota Wild

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues head back to Xcel Energy Center on Sunday afternoon, looking to avoid elimination by the Minnesota Wild. After a dominant victory in Game 5, the Wild hold a 3-2 series lead, and they could make the Blues the third victim of an upset series loss this postseason, following Chicago’s defeat of Nashville and Calgary’s elimination of Vancouver on Saturday night.

A loss Sunday would represent the Blues’ third first-round series loss in the past three seasons, and many have speculated that it would trigger the firing of coach Ken Hitchcock. With this in mind, the Blues will be under plenty of pressure to bring the series back to St. Louis on Sunday.

The Blues should be able to get center Jori Lehtera, who missed Friday’s game with an injury, back on Sunday. While he’s not going to be a major difference-maker, he can act as an effective setup man for Vladimir Tarasenko and will be more offensively capable than his replacement, Marcel Goc, was in Game 5. Ultimately, the Blues’ biggest challenge in Game 6 will be getting consistent shots on goal, not taking costly penalties, and protecting the area in front of the net better than they have in their three losses this series.

Next: Blues' Projected Lineup