NHL

Wild advances after beating the Blues, 4-1 in Game 6

After clinching a playoff series at home for the first time, the Wild will face Blackhawks in conference semis

Zach Parise scored twice, including a short-handed, highlight-reel goal to get Minnesota going in the first period, and the Wild advanced to the Western Conference semifinals with a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday in Game 6 in St. Paul.

Justin Fontaine also scored, Nino Niederreiter added an empty-net goal, and the Wild set up a rematch of its second-round loss last year to Chicago. The Blackhawks beat Nashville in six games to move on.

The Blues had their third straight first-round ouster.

Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves, giving him 67 over the last two games after the 6-1 defeat in Minnesota that allowed the Blues to tie the series. The Wild outscored them 8-2 after that, and the Blues lost their 10th straight postseason game when facing elimination.

Coach Ken Hitchcock pulled goalie Jake Allen after Fontaine scored with 8:41 left in the second period, and T.J. Oshie's first goal of the series came with four seconds left before the second intermission to give the Blues some life. They outshot the Wild 27-11 over the last two periods.

Parise's next goal came on a rebound of Jason Pominville's attempt early in the third, though, and Dubnyk and the Wild were unflappable after that. Only one of the six games in the series was decided by less than three goals, a 4-2 win by the Wild in Game 1, and the average margin was 3.2.

Montreal 2, at Ottawa 0: Carey Price made 43 saves, Brendan Gallagher scored in the first period, and the Canadiens defeated the Senators to advance to the second round.

Max Pacioretty sealed the win with an empty-net goal with one second remaining.

Montreal won the best-of-seven series in six games, but lost two in a row after taking a 3-0 series lead — and Ottawa nearly sent it to a deciding seventh game.

Price, nominated for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie, rebounded after allowing five goals in Game 5 with a masterful effort as the Senators outshot the Canadiens 43-20.

Montreal, which reached the Eastern Conference finals last spring, is in the second round for a second consecutive year for the first time since 1992 and '93.

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