ST. LOUIS — Sunday night was the kind of game that the St. Louis Blues of not-too-distant vintage might have found a way to lose.
Down 3-1 late in the second period and running on fumes while playing their third game in four days and sixth in a nine-day stretch, the Blues found another level of determination.
They turned that 3-1 deficit into a 5-4 overtime victory over the Minnesota Wild as Vladimir Sobotka netted the game-winner 2 minutes, 16 seconds into the extra period.
"You can use that as an excuse, but everyone around the league is in the same boat," Blues winger Chris Stewart said when asked about the difficulties of a compressed schedule during a 48-game regular season. "Obviously six (games) in nine (days) there, the legs are kinda burning out there in the third period but we've got the day off tomorrow. We really wanted to bail (goalie Brian Elliott) out there and it was good to get the win."
Blues defenseman Roman Polak used good speed to gain the zone on Sobotka's goal, losing the puck momentarily before grabbing it back and sending it to Andy McDonald.
With Sobotka banging away for space in front, McDonald found him and Sobotka scored his first goal of the season.
"That's what we practice all the time, I just stayed in front of the net and Andy made a good play," Sobotka said. "It landed right on my stick. ... It ended up in the net and I'm happy for it. I'm glad that we got two points."
The win pushed the Blues to 5-1 and they hung on despite allowing the Wild to score four times on just 16 shots.
A goal from Patrik Berglund late in the second period breathed new life into the Blues, who had fallen behind 3-1 about a minute earlier.
"We had a real big goal there by Bergie late in the second to get us within one and then we had a real strong third period, too," said Blues defenseman Wade Redden, who scored his second goal in two games.
A newcomer to the Blues, Redden has been impressed by the team's desire and blue-collar work ethic.
"I think that's what you need to win night-in and night-out, that mentality and determination," he said. "I think guys got a taste here last year and had some success, so they've seen what it takes."
Unsuccessful on five power plays Sunday, the Blues at least kept the Wild busy killing them off.
The Blues collected the tying goal when Stewart deflected in a shot by Alex Pietrangelo at 11:29 of the third period.
Blues defenseman Barret Jackman scored the go-ahead goal 2 minutes, 18 seconds later on a shot from the right point with Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom screened in front.
Both goals came on assists by Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who has racked up eight assists in six games.
Minnesota's Dany Heatley tied it with 4 minutes, 8 seconds remaining on a goal that stood after going to video review, but the Blues kept battling.
"It wasn't because we were tired, we were just kind of getting beat around the ice," Shattenkirk said. "We were just playing lazy. When we're on our game, we're a strong team and we just did a good job in the third of coming out and finding it again."
The second goal in two games by the 35-year-old Redden put the Blues on top 1-0 midway through opening period. Redden took a pass from behind the net by David Backes and sent a sizzling one-timer past Backstrom.
In two seasons and 156 games with the New York Rangers from 2008, Redden had only five goals. The first-period goal Sunday gave him two in three games with the Blues.
Before he scored against Dallas on Saturday, Redden's last NHL goal came on March 18, 2010 for the Rangers against the Blues.
It was a less than memorable second period for the Blues as the Wild got two power-play goals from Zach Parise on their first two shots in the period.
Early in the period, Parise's shot from the side of the net snaked its way through Elliott's leg and appeared to go in off his skate.
The goal was the first allowed by the Blues at home this season after Jaroslav Halak posted back-to-back shutouts. They had outscored Detroit and Nashville by a combined 9-0 while killing off all eight opponent power plays.
Mikko Koivu put the Wild up 3-1 on a goal that stood up on video review, but the Blues climbed back within a goal on Berglund's with 4 minutes, 22 seconds remaining in the period,
The goals by Koivu and Berglund each were scored while the teams were playing 4-on-4.