Center Tyler Bozak scored twice in 27 seconds late in the third period to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Wild on Wednesday night in an exhibition game played before a sellout of 14,282 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, home of the American Hockey League’s Iowa Wild.
It was the largest hockey crowd ever for that arena.
Bozak’s first goal came with 4 minutes, 59 seconds to play on a rebound. He batted a puck out of midair for his second goal.
“Two headsy plays by a veteran,” said Wild goalie Alex Stalock in a radio interview; he made 23 saves.
Right wing Sammy Blais gave the Blues a 1-0 lead on a power play at 5:54 of the opening period. Defenseman Brennan Menell of the Wild tied the score at 1-all and Justin Kloos, the former Gophers center, put Minnesota ahead 2-1 with 3:15 left in the opening period.
St. Louis outshot the Wild 26-25 and had the game’s lone power play.
The Wild was coming off a 2-1 loss at Winnipeg on Monday.
The Wild will face the Dallas Stars on Thursday at home.
Defenseman Gustav Olofsson injured one of his shoulders Monday in the Wild’s preseason opener against the Jets, a source said, and could be sidelined for a couple weeks at least. He will be evaluated over the next few days.
Drafted 46th overall in 2013 by the Wild, Olofsson is among the defensemen likely jostling for the seventh spot on the blue line since Greg Pateryn and Nick Seeler seem poised to fill out the third pairing after both signed multiyear contracts in the summer. Nate Prosser, Ryan Murphy, Carson Soucy and Louie Belpedio are other candidates.
This isn’t the first time Olofsson has faced adversity while trying to carve out a role with the Wild.
He previously hurt one of his knees in September 2016 at the Traverse City prospects’ tournament — this after he was coming off back-to-back season-ending shoulder injuries.
Last season, Olofsson rotated in and out of the Wild lineup, registering had eight assists in 41 games.