ST. LOUIS (AP) — Mikael Granlund opened the season with a trio of forgettable games.
“I hardly ever touched the puck,” the Minnesota Wild forward recalled.
Those days are long gone.
Granlund scored his team-high 10th goal of the season in the third period to lift the Wild over the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on Sunday.
Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves, and the Wild got their fifth win in six games and 10th in their past 12. They completed a franchise-record seven-game road trip at 5-2.
Zach Parise and Joel Eriksson Ek also scored for Minnesota.
The red-hot Granlund has four goals in his last three games and eight in his last 10. His goal with 12:17 left in regulation was his third game-winner of the season.
“There’s some little things I’ve tried to do better,” Granlund said. “It just seems like pucks are really going in right now.”
Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau knew Granlund, who did not get a point in the first three games, would eventually overcome the slow start.
“He’s our best offensive player,” Boudreau said. “It’s pretty cool. That’s what he is, a really good hockey player.”
Oskar Sundqvist and Alex Pietrangelo scored for St. Louis, which also lost at home to Minnesota 5-1 on Nov. 3.
Granlund pounced on a loose puck in the slot and drilled it past Chad Johnson to break a 2-all tie. Through 16 games, he’s already nearly halfway to his career high of 26 goals from 2016-17.
Minnesota scored twice in a 25-second span early in the second to take a 2-1 lead. Parise pounded home the rebound of a shot by Nino Niederreiter that hit the post. Eriksson Ek then converted off a shot by Jordan Greenway.
The Wild were playing their third game in four nights and have not played at home since Oct. 27. Although tired, the players banded together for another strong road effort.
“Today was a hard game, the end of trips are always tough,” Parise said. “With the travel and the early start, it was a challenging game. But we scrambled and got ourselves a win.”
Pietrangelo tied it at 2 with a blast from the top of the faceoff circle midway through the second period.
Dubnyk, who has won three of his last four, improved to 8-3-2.
“We’re continuing to play the way we have to be to be successful,” Dubnyk said. “When you get winning, and guys are playing together, it doesn’t seem to matter which direction the game is going. You just believe you’re going to get the job done in the end. That’s the feeling that we have right here.”
Johnson, who fell to 2-3, had a string of 66 successive saves halted by Parise’s goal.
The Blues were looking to win their third in a row for the first time this season.
“It’s very disappointing,” St. Louis center Ryan O’Reilly said. “It stings. It’s definitely a frustrating one. We easily could have got it into OT — but we didn’t.”
NOTES: O’Reilly extended his career-high point streak to 10 games with an assist in the second period. Alexander Steen was the last St. Louis player to reel off 10 in a row from Dec. 30, 2014 to Jan. 19, 2015. … The Blues are 15-5-3 in their last 22 home games against the Wild dating back to 2008. … Minnesota D Matt Dumba played in his 116th successive game, the longest current streak on the team.
Minnesota: Hosts Washington on Tuesday night.
St. Louis: At Chicago on Wednesday night.