St. Louis Blues' James Neal (81) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Minnesota Wild during the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Joe Puetz)

James Neal scored a hat trick in his preseason debut Saturday, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

The Blues rallied with four unanswered goals to close out their first preseason game after Minnesota fought back to tie the game at 2-2 early in the third period. Neal, who is auditioning on a tryout contract with the Blues, had two of the final four goals, including an empty-netter for the hat trick.

Newcomer Brandon Saad scored the game's first goal off a rebound from Robert Thomas in the first period. Ivan Barbashev potted the game-winning goal in the third period. Michael Frolik, also on a tryout contract, capped the scoring with 27 seconds to play.

Ville Husso started the game in net, blocking all eight shots he faced in the first period. Charlie Lindgren played the final two periods, stopping 19 of 21 shots and picking up the victory.

The Blues host the Dallas Stars in their next preseason game at 7 p.m. Monday. The game can be streamed on the Bally Sports app and ballysports.com.

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