ST. LOUIS – The Wild rewrote the record book in back-to-back games but for opposite reasons.
After putting on an offensive clinic its last time out, the Wild surrendered the most goals in franchise history in the most lopsided loss the team has ever suffered — a 9-1 dismantling by the Blues on Friday at Enterprise Center in the first of three in a row between the West Division rivals.
"It was just one of those nights where absolutely everything went wrong," coach Dean Evason said.
Kaapo Kahkonen was on the hook for all nine goals, the most scored against a Wild goalie in team history. He finished with 29 saves on 38 shots.
"Not a fun experience," Kahkonen said. "That was embarrassing by myself. I thought I let my team down."
South St. Paul native Justin Faulk, Sammy Blais and captain Ryan O'Reilly racked up three points apiece for St. Louis. Jordan Binnington made 24 saves, a timid night compared to how the Wild challenged the last goaltender it faced.
After tying the franchise record for goals Wednesday in an 8-3 takedown of the Avalanche, the Wild offense wasn't as dangerous this go-round. But what was more jarring was its defensive posture, or lack thereof.
"That's not us," Jonas Brodin said.
The team was exposed off the rush, struggling to stand up the Blues in transition, and St. Louis kept capitalizing.
"Our reads were terrible off of that," Evason said. "We actually were in position. It was just picking the right responsibility."
Just 1 minute, 32 seconds into the first period, the barrage started on a one-timer from Zach Sanford.
By 6:59, the Blues doubled their lead after Jaden Schwartz peeled off the wall to wire a shot over Kahkonen.
On the very next shift, the Wild answered back when Zach Parise buried a rebound at 7:33 for his first goal since Feb. 24, ending a 14-game goal drought.
"When Zach scored that second goal, we thought, 'OK, maybe we catch it,'" Evason said. "But they just kept coming and we didn't respond."
Schwartz scored again at 15:23, burying a Brayden Schenn pass after Schenn got the jump on Brodin.
Only 1:30 later, Blais made it 4-1 when he one-timed in a behind-the-net pass from Faulk.
"Everything that's been poorly done all year was poorly done not only early but often throughout the game," Evason said. "I don't know. We'll have to watch it again. To answer why? We don't have that answer."
Not much changed in the second period.
The Blues scored a fifth goal at 1:09, a slapshot by O'Reilly. His second of the game came shorthanded after forcing the puck off Victor Rask for a breakaway goal at 4:39, the first shorthanded goal given up by the Wild this season.
Faulk scored on a delayed penalty at 8:19 before Jake Walman converted on a point shot 10:17 into the third period. The Wild gave up a franchise-record ninth goal on the power play to Ivan Barbashev with 2:21 to go. St. Louis went 1-for-2, and the Wild was 0-for-2.
"They had a lot of in-zone time, broke us down off their cycle," Parise said. "Their defensemen were really active in the offensive zone. They just kept coming at us."
Kahkonen has now lost three straight after a nine-game win streak set the franchise record for a Wild rookie. Twice he allowed six or more goals among those three losses. The nine goals he was tagged for were a franchise high, exceeding the eight given up Josh Harding on Dec. 26, 2007, at Dallas.
But with the Wild finishing off a back-to-back against the Blues on Saturday, Evason was saving Cam Talbot for that game and didn't have him relieve Kahkonen as the goals piled up.
"Everybody's gotta work through stuff, right?" Evason said. "A player's gotta work through stuff. A goalie's gotta work through stuff. If it was completely his fault or not completely his fault, it was a little bit of everything. It was the entire team. We're not saying the goalie was bad or the defense was bad or the forwards were bad. We were all bad."