Minnesota Wild Back On Track With 2-1 Win Over Florida Panthers


1. 97. Final. 2. 98

The Minnesota Wild’s point streak now stands at 9 games (7-0-2) with tonight’s 2-1 regulation victory over the hot Florida Panthers. Jason Pominville and Zach Parise had tallies for the Wild. Minnesota native and former Mr. Hockey Nick Bjugstad had the lone goal for the Panthers. 

Good morning and happy Friday, Minnesota Wild fans. The Wild skyrocketed its chance to make the playoffs all the way up to 46.8% with another quality win. This time, Devan Dubnyk held off the speedy Florida Panthers while Jason Pominville and Zach Parise added goals. Injuries, line shuffling, and a hectic schedule haven’t slowed the Wild down one bit, as they keep finding ways to win games and stay competitive. Fun fact of the night: The Florida Panthers are one of two teams never to win a game in regulation at the Xcel Energy Center. The other team, you ask? The Washington Capitals  Don’t forget to check out Dustin’s coverage of the recent roster moves in Iowa after you get your fill of my game recap.

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First Period:

Pretty quiet first period from an offensive standpoint. The Wild dominated the Panthers on the face-off dot through much of the game, but never really got going in the offensive zone.

There was a fairly frightening moment in the second minute when Charlie Coyle took a huge hit in to the boards from Panthers’ defenseman Alex Petrovic. Coyle went face first in to the boards and briefly left the game. Here’s a gif, courtesy of twitter user @cjzero. cjzero posts some cool stuff, so be sure to show them some twitter love.

Luckily, Coyle returned to play a short time later. The Wild really can’t afford to lose another forward.

Pominville opened the scoring with a quite controversial goal. Pominville,

Mikko Koivu

, and Parise forced a 3-on-3 rush after Koivu picked up a nice pass from Ryan Suter. Koivu attempted to center for a crashing Parise, but his pass sailed wide and hit the skate of Pominville as he started to slow. The puck bounced off of Pominville’s skate and crossed the goal line before



could get his leg pad extended to make it

1-0 Wild at 04:12 of the first period.

It’s worth mentioning the goal underwent video review to ensure the puck was deflected and not kicked in. After watching the video a bunch, it looks to me that Pominville was throwing the brakes on and had his skate in good position. It also marks the first time since last season that Pominville earned goals in 3 consecutive games.

Later in the first, Thomas Vanek went to the sin bin for a vicious slash on the second best rookie of the season Aaron Ekblad. The Panthers power play has been super good lately, including going 3 for 8 against the Anaheim Ducks. They had no such luck with the Wild, registering 3 shots on goal including  quality chances by Aleksander Barkov and Brian Campbell.

Shots after one period: Florida Panthers 9, Minnesota Wild 11

Second Period:

Ekblad and Marco Scandella exchanged chances in the opening minutes, although Scandella’s chance never made it to the net.

Mathew Dumba drew the first power play chance for the Wild, taking a wild cross-check from Dave Bolland. With the top power play unit on the ice for over a minute, Parise converted.

Vanek fired a shot that trickled through the Luongo’s 5-hole but fell short of the goal line. Parise beat a sprawling Luongo to the puck and chipped it in on his second try to make it 2-1 Wild at 06:52 of the second period.

Blaine product

Nick Bjugstad

pulled the Panthers within a goal with a highlight reel goal. Bjugstad,

Jussi Jokinen


Jimmy Hayes

forced a 3-on-2 with Bjugstad the recipient of a gorgeous tic-tac-toe passing play. Bjustad ripped a wrister from just above the goal line on the right-wing wall that breezed past Devan Dubnyk’s left ear and inside the crossbar to make it

2-1 Wild at 09:53 of the second period.

I’ll include the video here, because it’s an absolute beauty and Bjugy is one of us.

The Wild and Panthers exchanged power play chances, with 62 seconds of 4-on-4 in the middle.

The best chance on either side of the power play came when Kyle Brodziak grabbed a loose puck for a shorthanded breakaway bid. Brodziak didn’t quite get the shot he wanted and Luongo made an easy save. Okay! On to the 3rd we go.

Shots through two periods: Florida Panthers 19, Minnesota Wild 18

Third Period:

Ryan Suter gave the Panthers a chance to tie the game in the 4th minute by taking a double minor for high-sticking Bolland. The Panthers came close to breaking Dubnyk a few times, but Barkov nullified 2 minutes of the double minor by tripping Jonas Brodin.

Did anybody see Luongo take a Scandella slap shot to the face? That’s gotta be horrifying. Glad Lu is okay though. The guy is a riot on twitter.

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  • The officiating team called an icing on a puck that clearly didn’t meet the criteria for icing, forcing Mike Yeo to burn a time out and scream at the refs.

    With about a minute and a half left, Luongo went to the bench and Nino Niederreiter, who had a miserable night, went to the box for tripping. The Wild’s PK remained perfect since the all-star break and held the Panthers to 2 shots at Dubnyk to seal the victory.

    Final shots on goal: Florida Panthers 27, Minnesota Wild 23

    Trembley’s Take:

    Don’t let the shot count fool you, Florida dominated puck possession and shot attempts. Jason Pominville had the highest corsi-for on the Minnesota Wild at 50%… That’s right, he was best and he was dead even.

    Koivu had an assist on both Wild goals, pulling him to within one multi-point game of the Wild’s all-time lead in multi-point games.

    Dubnyk posted yet another game with a save percentage above .960, which is stellar.

    The Wild actually dominated some of the less important categories, including face-off wins and turnovers. They also blocked 19 shots, which is really good.

    The Wild take on the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday at 7:00 p.m. It’s a Valentine’s day match-up and tickets are still available. Talk to you then, fans.

    Next: Is Christian Folin Playing Worse Than Nate Prosser?