ST. LOUIS — What the Wild is calling a tip jar is making its way around the locker room, but this isn't the dish on the counter at Starbucks that's stuffed with loose change.
The team is passing around a pail that looks like it belongs on a construction site, and the player of the game tosses in the puck from each playoff victory.
"To be able to celebrate it in a fun way with your teammates is definitely something you cherish," Jon Merrill said. "We hope to fill that thing all the way up."
Marcus Foligno designed the container — "The bubble letters on there are mine," he said — and the idea came from a road trip in Nashville last month when the Wild bonded while tipping to make song requests.
"We were at Dierks Bentley's bar," Foligno said, "and I just remember seeing this Home Depot bucket and this guy came around at last call and started going around like at church when they collect money. So it was just one of those things where guys were throwing dollar bills in there and asking for recommendations. It was just comical."
Joel Eriksson Ek was the first recipient after Game 2, and then Marc-Andre Fleury dumped in the second puck after the Wild ran away from the Blues 5-1 on Friday to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
"We didn't really do anything this year when it came to player of the game during the season," Foligno said. "So I just thought playoffs, and then the puck acts as the money. We need 16 wins, so we hope we can get that tip jar full."
The Blues' Pavel Buchnevich interfered with Foligno to negate a St. Louis power play late in the second period Friday and after the call was made, Foligno made a beeline for the bench instead of engaging Buchnevich.
That was one of many examples of the discipline the Wild had on display in Game 3, a poise the Wild was lacking earlier in the series.
"We ran around a lot in Game 1, and it wasn't our style and we were all over the refs and just we weren't focusing our attention on the Blues," Foligno said. "You kind of saw it [Friday] night. They had a lot of guys running around, and we had a lot of guys that took hits. But everyone's feeling good today.
"So it's one of those things where we're just ready for it, and it's good to see our team kind of learn lessons."
St. Louis ended up outhitting the Wild 33-17, but the physicality didn't rattle the Wild.
"There's some big, clean hits that they delivered, and you just gotta move on," Foligno continued. "It's the playoffs. They were the second power play in the league all season for a reason, so we don't want to do anything ourselves to retaliate or get ticked off. So we did a good job."
On the move
Fleury is one win away from moving into sole possession of third place in NHL history for postseason victories.
The Wild goaltender tied Hall of Famer and five-time Stanley Cup champion Grant Fuhr on Friday at 92.
"I'm sure I've played a lot more games than he has to get there," said Fleury, who reached the milestone in his 165th playoff game while Fuhr totaled 150. "I think he was spectacular. Sometimes he would give up some goals, but he would always find a way to finish up games and win games. He's got so many championships and went to the Finals so many times. He's obviously a legend."
Another Blues injury
St. Louis defenseman Torey Krug, who left Game 3 with a lower-body injury, will miss "some time," Blues coach Craig Berube said.
Nick Leddy and Robert Bortuzzo skated Saturday, but it's unclear if either defenseman will return from their respective upper-body injuries to suit up Sunday afternoon after sitting out Game 3.
As for Scott Perunovich, who hasn't played since undergoing wrist surgery in March, Berube called the Hibbing native and former Minnesota Duluth standout a possibility.