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Associated Press, Published January 27 2013

Blues best Wild in overtime

ST. LOUIS – Vladimir Sobotka’s timing was perfect for the streaking St. Louis Blues.

Sobotka scored from close range at 2:16 of overtime to give the Blues a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night.

St. Louis is 5-1, its best start since winning seven of its first eight in 1997-98. Coming off a 4-3 victory in Dallas on Saturday night, the Blues also improved to 3-0 at home.

Andy McDonald circled around the net and fed Sobotka for the winner

“I just saw it landed right on my stick and it was kind of a weird shot, but it landed up in the net and I was happy,” he said.

Minnesota’s Dany Heatley forced the overtime, tying it at 4 when he batted the puck out of the air with 4:08 left in regulation for his fourth goal of the season. The Wild have lost three straight.

Chris Stewart, Barret Jackman, Wade Redden and Patrik Berglund also scored for St. Louis, and Brian Elliott, getting his first home start, made 12 saves.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock wasn’t certain how his team would respond after playing six games in nine days.

“I’ve been around a long time, but the third period was impressive,” Hitchcock said. “Back to back, it was a very physical game last night, and to come with that type of effort was a real confidence booster. We didn’t get down on ourselves. We really took our game to another level.”

After taking a 1-0 lead in the first, the Blues gave up three consecutive goals before rallying.

“We kept battling. We kept battling and (Sobotka) capped with a great overtime goal,” Jackman said.

Zach Parise had two goals and an assist for Minnesota after also scoring twice in the Wild’s 5-3 loss in Detroit on Friday night. Mikko Koivu added a goal, and Niklas Backstrom stopped 32 shots.

Minnesota 0 3 1 0 – 4

St. Louis 1 1 2 1 – 5

First period: 1, St. Louis, Redden 2 (Backes, Perron), 9:16.

Second period: 2, Minnesota, Parise 4 (Gilbert, Suter), 2:04 (pp). 3, Minnesota, Parise 5 (Koivu, Heatley), 10:52 (pp). 4, Minnesota, Koivu 1 (Parise, Gilbert), 14:37. 5, St. Louis, Berglund 3 (Perron, Pietrangelo), 15:38.

Third period: 6, St. Louis, Stewart 4 (Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk), 11:29. 7, St. Louis, Jackman 1 (Tarasenko, Shattenkirk), 13:47. 8, Minnesota, Heatley 4 (Cullen, Suter), 15:52.

Overtime: 9, St. Louis, Sobotka 1 (McDonald, Polak), 2:16.

Shots on Goal – Minnesota 8-4-4-0 – 16. St. Louis 7-9-16-2 – 34.

Goalies: Minnesota, Backstrom 1-1-1 (34 shots-29 saves). St. Louis, Elliott 2-1-0 (16-12).

A – 18,265 (19,150). T – 2:37.