Game Recap- Jets at Wild



When Marco Scandella zapped his twister wrister passed an at least partially screened Michael Hutchinson, everything came up roses for the Minnesota Wild after blowing their second three goal third period lead of the season. After a roller coaster performance yesterday in Dallas that saw a tale of two halves, one bad, one good, the Wild did the inverse today at home against the Jets. The Wild came out firing on all cylinder early before letting some extra curricular activities derail their momentum half was through the game, and ultimately surrender three third period goals to division foe Winnipeg, forcing overtime. Fortunately for Wild fans, some of whom at the unfortunate task of sitting next to a Jets fan during tonight’s tilt, Marco Scandella stopped the bleeding one minute and one second into the extra session.

First and foremost, Wild fans were elated to see Zach Parise back on the ice for the first time in over a week after overcoming some concussion symptoms, and he rewarded the fan’s patience with two very Zach Parise goals in the first period, burying a nice rebound opportunities in extra gritty fashion, and rifling a mid range slapshot through traffic. Parise’s two markers came after Nino Neiderreiter got the Wild on the board first just 2:07 into the game, with a highlight reel goal stuffed in the net after a nifty move around a defender and during a gravity defying backhand effort.

These three goals would eventually chase Winnipeg starting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec from the game after the first stanza, and Michael Hutchinson would start the second period for the Jets. Along with a new goalie, the Jets brought their best physical game with them to the ice for the second period, and that would usher in a new game, as the Wild had to kill off eight penalties in the second period alone. Keith Ballard didn’t make himself any friends north of the border during that period, with a fight against Andrew Ladd just a minute in and double minor following some net front shenanigans with Chris Thorburn that saw Ballard receiving a cross check to the face, then somehow being pinched for embellishment on the play.

All of that zone time clearly either tuckered the Wild out, or just simply put them off their game, because when the third period rolled around, it was all Jets. After three goals in under five minutes, the Wild were reeling with the sting of surrendering a three goal lead yet again this season in the third period. Not unlike the Monday Night Massacre at Madison Square Garden, the Wild’s meltdown was aided by some very unfortunate bounces that eventually chased Niklas Backstrom from the game. Wild Head Coach admitted later that he removed Backstrom to try to stall the blazing momentum of the Jets after already spending his timeout after the second goal of the period. Darcy Kuemper was called into action for the remainder of the third period, and held down the fort for the rest of the third period with 3 saves.

After a dry scrape of the ice, the teams started the 4 on 4 overtime period. Just a minute in, and after he was handcuffed a bit on a one timer attempt, Marco Scandella fired a wrist shot from the point that found the back of the net. Hutchinson clearly didn’t get a great look at it, with Mikael Granlund stationed in the slot just before the shot was taken.

Rem’s Reaction

All in all, we have to look at the positives here, in that after the four game skid, the Wild have won three straight, although all three have given us our share of heartburn at times. While everyone should be disappointed that the Wild choked away another three goal third period lead and handed a free point to a divisional rival, it was great to see this team rally a bit to not only stop the bleeding in the third period, but come out swinging in overtime and get the two points. The Jets brought a crowd with them, and every game in the central division this year looks to be a tough fight, save for perhaps Colorado. Getting a win on the second night of a division centric back to back was huge, and earned this team a well needed rest after 4 games in 6 days. The Wild will now head to the east coast for the long weekend, and face the Flyers, the Lightning and the Panthers, and hope to keep the win streak going against two teams that are scuffling a little and an always tough Lightning team that is looking to avenge their drubbing at the Xcel Energy Center last month.