Minnesota Wild Sweep Western Canada Trip With Win Over Vancouver Canucks


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A two goal second period lifted the Minnesota Wild over the Vancouver Canucks, giving the Wild its 3rd straight win, all on the road.

Good evening, Wild fans. Before today, the last time the Wild completed a sweep of the 3 Western Canadian teams was in 2007. Tonight the Minnesota Wild did it again with a 4-2 win over the Canucks, sweeping the road trip and giving the Wild 3 straight wins since mid November. Zach Parise, Jared Spurgeon, Thomas Vanek, and Jason Zucker all scored for the Wild.

First Period:

Really great first period all around. The Wild spent a lot of time in its own zone.

Parise and Thomas Vanek had a great chance to start the game with Parise firing a high shot on Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller and Vanek sniffing for a rebound.

Devan Dubnyk was challenged quite a bit, especially with rebounds. With the exception of Jonas Brodin, there wasn’t much in the way of rebound support for the Wild goaltender.

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Ryan Carter and Derek Dorsett dropped the gloves in front of the Wild net around the 6th minute. Nobody won the fight cleanly, but Dorsett probably had a few more heavy hits.

Jason Zucker and Alexandre Burrows both earned minors for unsportsmanlike conduct. With the following 4-on-4, Charlie Coyle fired a slapper from the high slot that Vanek tried to deflect, but he didn’t get all of the tip-in.

The Minnesota Wild and Canucks exchanged power play opportunities that never went anywhere, but it did give the Wild a chance to catch up on shot attempts.

Shots after one period: Minnesota Wild 5, Vancouver Canucks 11

Second Period:

After a Brodin tripping penalty was killed in the second minute, the game became decidedly held in the neutral zone until the Wild opened the scoring. Of course, it was Zach Parise.

Parise, who’s second in the league in goals scored since January 15th, picked up a loose puck from about 30 feet outside the Wild net and took it all the way down ice with Vanek trailing. Parise attempted to center for Vanek, but the puck hit Luca Sbisa’s stick and caromed in to the goal to make it 1-0 Wild at 07:26 of the second period. 

Parise’s quick goal got the Wild to find its skating legs. Carter drew a high sticking penalty a minute after the Wild’s goal. On his way to the referee, you could see Carter chewing HARD on his lip to draw a little blood, but he couldn’t. It didn’t matter, since Spurgeon gave the Wild a bigger lead.

After the top power play unit failed to register a shot on goal; the second unit led by Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund broke in to the offensive zone. Niederrieter carried the puck down the left-wing wall, turned and fired a pass at Spurgeon. From there, the young blue liner stepped to the top of the left face-off circle and fired a booming slap shot that just climbed over Miller’s left leg pad to make it 2-0 Wild at 09:26 of the second period. It’s really nice to see the second PP unit click.

Okay, on to the third we go.

Shots after two periods: Minnesota Wild 13, Vancouver Canucks 18

Third Period:

Completely bottled up in its own zone, things looked bad for the Minnesota Wild to start the third. Alexander Edler looked to score at 3:05, but Dubnyk instantly started barking at the linesman and gesturing to Radim Vrbata for goaltender interference. After a brief review, the goal was overturned and the Wild breathed a sigh of relief.

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  • After a few back and forth shot attempts, Thomas Vanek put away the game winner. Taking advantage of a sloppy change and an out-of-position Edler, Vanek cruised flew down the right-wing side, came just outside the right face-off dot and let loose his slap shot that went over Miller’s right shoulder before he had a chance to react.

    3-0 Wild at 07:08 of the third period.

    Remember how they always say a 2 goal lead is the hardest to maintain? Well, a 3 goal lead wasn’t much better for the Wild.

    Vanek went to the box with about 10 minutes left. Vancouver didn’t score, but they never left the offensive zone. As time expired, the Wild cleared, Ronald Kenins picked up a pass and fired a long wrister that dribbled through Dubnyk’s 5-hole to make it 3-1 Wild at 12:20 of the third period. Congratulations to Kenins on his first career NHL goal.

    61 seconds later, Daniel Sedin’s 10th goal of the year pulled the Canucks within one. Sedin took a pass from Vrbata behind the net and roofed it home to make it 3-2 Wild at 13:21 of the third period. Gulp.

    The Wild hung on, grasping a one goal lead for dear life, as  Miller went to the bench with 02:09 left. I’ll admit I was nervous. This is a team the Wild have been chasing all season and needed to pull off a victory to keep its slim playoff chances alive. At the end of an extremely long shift, Jason Zucker beat Edler to a

    Ryan Suter

    icing and slid the puck in to the empty net to seal the game,

    4-2 Wild at 19:05 of the third period.

    Final shots on goal: Minnesota Wild 20, Vancouver Canucks 37

    Trembley’s Take:

    Well, the Wild pulled off the win, thanks again in large part to Devan Dubnyk and a penalty kill that stopped all 4 power play chances by the Canucks. The Wild blocked 12 shots and allowed 37 more while only putting up 20 shots on goal with 3 more blocked. Tough outing for the Wild, even though they won.

    Granlund had 2 assists on the night for his 3rd multi-point night of the season and first points since returning from wrist surgery.

    Ryan Carter had a team leading corsi-for of 67% in just over 11 minutes of ice time. Only Charlie Coyle was also positive in the possession category.

    Spurgeon had a goal, 3 shots on goal and 2 blocked shots in just over 24 minutes of ice time. He was also a -1

    The Wild is now just 5 points out of a playoff spot and one point out of the Central Division basement. They take on the Chicago Blackhawks at home on Tuesday. Talk to you then, folks!