With its next game not until Monday, the Wild hopes a break in the action replenishes the team's energy and rejuvenates the body and mind.

"It's nice for the guys to kind of get away from it a little bit and settle down and calm down and refocus a little bit," forward Marcus Johansson said.

But what won't change while the Wild is on hiatus is the team's seat in the standings.

After blanking the Blues 2-0 on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center to go 3-0 on the week, the Wild locked itself into third place in the West Division. That is a favorable position to begin its drive to the finish line when the season resumes Monday at San Jose.

"It's going to be a battle," winger Kevin Fiala said. "We have to win a lot of games to get a good spot."

Regardless of what happens elsewhere in the division before the Wild (21-10-1 and 43 points) plays again, no one can catch up and knock the team out of third.

That buffer exists because of the two-game sweep vs. Anaheim earlier this week and the win against St. Louis, a gutsy performance in the second half of a back-to-back that was spearheaded by goaltender Cam Talbot's 37-save shutout and an opportunistic offense that tied the franchise record for fewest shots in a game with 11.

"We found a way to win," Johansson said. "We obviously want to play more in their end than we did, but that's the way it goes sometimes. I think it's a real strength that we can win these games anyway, and I think everyone in our group showed another level of competitiveness."

Not only did the outcome put six points between the Wild and the Blues, who are fourth in the West, but the Wild also widened its lead over the No. 5 Coyotes to 10 points. The Wild has a game at-hand over both teams, but St. Louis is the one to watch.

Aside from being the closest behind the Wild in the West Division, which will send the top four seeds to the playoffs, the Blues will square off against the Wild seven more times — nearly a third of both teams' remaining schedules. And with a four-point swing at stake each time, this matchup could decide who ends up where in the division.

"It feels like we've been playing the same teams over and over again. It was nice to see some new faces and some new video clips to watch before the game," center Ryan Hartman said. "We've got a lot more games to play against them, and I'm sure they'll all be tight games. They've got a good group over there, as well, and we'll be battling here throughout the end of the year."

But the Wild's focus doesn't just have to be on who's chasing it.

By winning its last three games and rebounding from a pair of crushing losses last week against the Avalanche, the team stayed in contention for the division title — slotting two points back of No. 1 Vegas and No. 2 Colorado.

And that's another race that to keep an eye on when the Wild starts its post-break push.

"You're only playing these teams in your division and every point matters," Johansson said. "That's why [Thursday], even though we're not on our best, we find ways to win and these two points might mean a lot in the end. It's obviously good to end up winning a few games before a break and then build off that coming back."