Minnesota Wild Rally in 3rd, But Detroit Red Wings Win in Shootout


5(so). 72. 4. 98. Final

Down by a score of 4-1 entering the final 20 minutes, the Minnesota Wild mounted an incredible comeback that left hockey writers scrambling to re-write their blogs. 

Good Morning, Minnesota Wild fans. I don’t think anyone would blame you if you turned last night’s game off after the second period. After allowing 4 goals on 10 shots, the Wild looked prepared to enter the all-star break on a losing streak. Then, two goals by Zach Parise and a goal by Thomas Vanek tied the game, forcing overtime and an eventual shootout. Though the Wild lost the shootout, a miraculous comeback earned the Wild a point and a confidence booster. Darcy Kuemper stopped 14 of 14 shots after relieving Devan Dubnyk in the second period. Don’t forget to check out Andy’s game preview or our coverage of the Wild’s recently announced visit to Saskatoon.

First Period:

Teemu Pulkkinen opened the scoring just after the 9th minute when the shots were just 5 a side. A play that started all the way behind the Detroit net ended with Stephen Weiss setting a beautiful drop pass to Pulkkinen in the slot. Pulkkinen fired a wicked slap shot that beat a sprawling Christian Folin and Dubnyk to make it 1-0 Red Wings at 9:09 of the first period. Congratulations to Pulkkinen on his first career NHL goal.

Pulkkinen must have let his excitement get the best of him, as he ran down Dubnyk in the crease and sent the Wild to its first power play of the night. It only took fellow Finn

Mikko Koivu

7 seconds to pull the Wild even.

Ryan Suter

collected the puck after a Koivu face-off win. Koivu, who never left the face-off circle, fired a wrist shot that hugged the ice and beat

Petr Mrazek

to make it a

1-1 tie at 13:22 of the first period.

Mrazek was never quite in the appropriate position to stop the shot.

Unfortunately, The Wild didn’t hold on to the tie for long. Jonathan Ericsson fired a slap shot from the left point that beat Dubnyk over his right blocker, but that only tells half the story. Justin Abdelkader screened Dubnyk perfectly on the shot, giving the goalie no chance to see Ericsson or his booming slapper. 2-1 Red Wings at 14:30 of the first period. 

The Wild again played with some urgency and dominated the shot counter, even earning a power play to end the first, but no equalizer could be found.

Shots after one period: Minnesota Wild 10, Detroit Red Wings 6

Second Period:

Kyle Brodziak got sent to the sin bin early on in the second and the Red Wings decided to score again. Seriously, as hard as it is for the Wild to score, the Red Wings made it look effortless in the first 30 minutes.

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With the man advantage, Gustav Nyquist deflected a Niklas Kronwall shot just underneath the glove of Dubnyk. Dubnyk had his glove in the perfect position to stop Kronwall’s shot and looked bummed that Nyquist got to it before he did. 3-1 Red Wings at 03:41 of the second period.

The Wild went back to the power play almost immediately after Nyquist’s goal but only mustered one shot on goal.

Xavier Ouellet, the man with the coolest name ever, looked to seal things for the Red Wings. Ouellet fired a shot from the high slot that hit Justin Fontaine’s skate, changed direction, and fooled Dubnyk to make it 4-1 Red Wings at 07:25 of the second period. With that, Dubnyk’s night was over and Darcy Kuemper came in for relief.

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  • The Wild went back to the power play in thr 10th minute but looked completely listless, putting 2 shots on goal. Both shots came from members of the second power play unit, by the way.

    I thought the Ryan CarterErik HaulaNino Niederreiter combo played well tonight.

    Shots after two periods: Minnesota Wild 22, Detroit Red Wings 13

    Third Period:

    Like I said, if you turned the game off, I don’t blame you. Don’t worry, I’ll fill you in.

    The Wild started the period with quite a few shots and did well to keep the Red Wings pinned in their own end, eventually drawing a penalty.

    On its fifth power play, the Wild scored again. Vanek fired a shot at Mrazek that bounced off his leg pads.

    Jason Pominville

    collected the rebound and caught the attention of Mrazek before passing off to Zach Parise who fired home his 18th of the year in to a wide open net.

    4-2 Red Wings at 06:01 of the third period.

    Have a look here, it’s a pretty nice play

    Suddenly, the Wild was back in the game. A glimmer of hope from the guy who never gives up! Then, Fontaine took a penalty. The Wild did well killing Fontaine’s penalty, allowing just one shot on goal.

    Around the midway point of the period, Vanek pulled the Wild to within one. Carter had a couple golden chances from right around the goal line but hit the post. Suter settled the puck down at the point and dropped off for Vanek who deked around several defenders and roofed a backhander over the shoulder of Mrazek.

    4-3 Red Wings at 10:01 of the third period.

    Have a look here, it’s the prettiest goal I’ve seen in a while.

    During a long change, Detroit’s Ericsson decided to camp out behind his net and wait for reinforcments while Parise stood on the other side of Mrazek. When Ericsson tried for a stretch pass, Parise intercepted the puck, turned and fired a backhander that trickled through Mrazek’s pads but stopped in the blue paint. Parise then reached all the way around the Detroit goaltender and slid home his second of the night to make it a

    4-4 tie at 13:21 of the third period.

    With that, the Wild was determined to snag a point from the outing, locking down defensively and forcing overtime. Kuemper looked really good and didn’t fight the puck at all.

    Shots on goal through regulation: Minnesota Wild 35, Detroit Red Wings 21

    Overtime and shootout:

    Parise and Koivu were denied on a 2-on-1 breakaway early, but overtime was a bit of a snoozer.

    Detroit won their first shootout of the season with goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Nyquist. For the Wild, Parise missed the net and Koivu’s trademark backhander was gobbled up by Mrazek. Red Wings win 5-4 in a shootout.

    Final shots on goal: Minnesota Wild 38, Detroit Red Wings 24

    Trembley’s Take:

    Man, what a roller coaster of a game that ended in such an anti-climactic fashion. The Wild needed to earn some kind of point, so it’s good they pulled the sympathy point, but a win would’ve been better. Every loss and overtime loss narrows the Wild’s window for wins and slims its playoff hopes. I also really dislike the shootout. That’s just me.

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  • Zach Parise has now scored at least one goal in 4 consecutive games. Like I said, the guy never gives up. Tonight, he had 8 shots on goal and a corsi-for of 54%.

    I don’t think you can hold Dubnyk accountable for 3 of the 4 goals he allowed. I also don’t support the idea of starting a goalie on back-to-back nights. It was really nice to see Kuemper in good form after missing 7 games. He looked comfortable. Maybe he got his head straight.

    Niederreiter continues his streak off the scoresheet, but he only played a little over 12 minutes tonight while registering 3 shots and 2 hits. Charlie Coyle had around 19 minutes of ice time and just 2 shots.

    Suter had another 30 minute night with two assists and was a +2 rating. Hopefully Suter is turning a corner. It’s worth noting that Marco Scandella had no power play time again.

    The Wild is off until January 27th when they take on the Edmonton Oilers on the road. That means I get a few days off, too. Talk to you guys then!