Whether it's been an afternoon matinee or the middle of winter at a baseball field, the Blues have stumped the Wild all season long.
Another change of scenery — and different stakes — didn't slow them down.
In St. Louis' first trip to Xcel Energy Center in a year, the Blues continued to blitz their Central Division rival and in the process snatched home-ice advantage away from the Wild in a 4-0 romp on Monday night in front of an announced 19,053 to seize Game 1 in the best-of-seven first-round series.
Game 2 is Wednesday back in St. Paul.
"There's just big moments in the game, and they capitalized on them," winger Marcus Foligno said, "and we didn't."
St. Louis goaltender Ville Husso was airtight in his Stanley Cup playoff debut, stopping all 37 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season, and the Blues' David Perron set the tone on offense with a hat trick (including two power-play goals) to go along with an assist.
This sealed their sixth consecutive victory over the Wild, a tear that includes the Winter Classic at Target Field on New Year's Day and a pair of victories in St. Louis. Over the past 11 meetings, the Blues are 10-0-1 and dating back to Feb. 17, 2019, they are 14-1-2.
“The history shows us that this won't bother us. We'll regroup and come back and be a better team.”
The Wild is now 4-11 all-time in Game 1 and 0-4 as the home team, and 2-9 when dropping the opener.
"We don't think about that," Foligno said of the lopsided results vs. the Blues. "We are a team that focuses on the task at hand and take it day by day. So, we lost Game 1, and now we're looking forward to Game 2."
Once again, special teams were a factor that didn't suit the Wild.
Not only did the team concede two goals in six shorthanded situations, but its power play whiffed to go 0-for-6.
"That's our season, right?" coach Dean Evason said. "Our special teams have not been very good."
The power play also surrendered a penalty shot to Ivan Barbashev only 3 minutes, 50 seconds after puck drop.
Barbashev was impeded by the Wild's Jonas Brodin during a shorthanded breakaway and was awarded a do-over, but his shot was blocked by Marc-Andre Fleury. This was the first penalty shot against Fleury in his 163rd playoff game and only the second try vs. the Wild in its playoff history; the other came April 9, 2008, when Niklas Backstrom denied Colorado's Ryan Smyth. Fleury ended up with 27 saves in his first postseason start with the Wild.
"That was fun," he said of the save. "The crowd got on their feet. It's just too bad for the rest of the game."
Despite that momentum-boosting play, the Wild couldn't sustain that lift and instead was trailing by 6:15 when Perron scored his first of the night during St. Louis' first power play after he slipped a Ryan O'Reilly rebound between Fleury and the near post.
Before the first adjourned, the Blues doubled their lead when O'Reilly was left all alone in front to put back his own rebound at 15:56.
Not long after the Wild blanked on its fourth look, St. Louis and its second-best power play needed only 50 seconds to pull away; again, Perron was the beneficiary, roofing in a rebound at 16:30.
The finishing touches on the Wild's woeful display came in the third when a sixth power play was cut short by a high-sticking double minor by Kevin Fiala against O'Reilly.
Cue Perron, who completed the hat trick at 12:34, only two seconds after the Wild was back to full strength. He wired in the rebound off a Torey Krug shot, with Krug picking up his third assist.
"The history shows us that this won't bother us," Evason said. "We'll regroup and come back and be a better team. We'll stay the heck out of the box, and we'll play 5-on-5 and we'll give ourselves a better chance."