Minnesota Wild Use 6-Goal 3rd To Rout The Dallas Stars


98. 2. 119. Final. 6

Playing inconsistently for the first forty minutes, the Minnesota Wild came alive in the final frame, setting a franchise record for the most goals scored in a single period with six. Zach Parise (2-0), Christian Folin (0-2), and Mikael Granlund (1-2) combined for 7 points in the victory. Jason Spezza scored both goals for the Stars.

Good Morning, Minnesota Wild fans. Was anybody else a bit anxious going in to the third period of last night’s game? Don’t worry, I was too. I hope you stuck around for the third period, because it was a blast. I’m not sure what Mike Yeo said in the locker room, but something finally clicked for the Wild. Given that last night was Oscars night, don’t forget to check out Derek’s coverage of which Minnesota Wild players and games deserve an Oscar.

First Period:

The Wild kept control of early play, keeping Dallas out of its offensive zone for much of the first 5 minutes. Jason Spezza registered Dallas’ first shot on goal right around the third minute, but that was the extent of early pressure for the Stars.

Thomas Vanek, Jordan Schroeder, and Christian Folin all had scoring chances that didn’t make it on goal. Justin Fontaine also had a wide open chance at a tip-in that slid wide.

Jamie Benn went to the bin for slashing Nino Niederreiter’s stick squarely in half. The Wild’s top power play unit actually looked pretty good, with a flurry of three chances coming from Zach Parise and Vanek in just 3 seconds. Vanek had the best chance from the goalmouth with a clear look at goaltender Jhonas Enroth, but he couldn’t elevate the puck past the Dallas netminder.

As the power play forwards changed, Ryan Suter broke up a shorthanded 2-on-1 with a great solo effort to force play up against the wall.

By the midway point of the first period, the Wild outshot the Stars by an 8-2 margin; however, they completely let off the gas and Dallas took over play. If not for Devan Dubnyk, the Wild would’ve easily fallen out of the game.

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Vanek had a rough night and it was especially noticeable in the first period, where he had a stack of turnovers and tried to force passes that weren’t there. By contrast, Schroeder was a total puck hound all night, working tirelessly on the ice to grab loose pucks and put them towards the net.

Shots after one period: Dallas Stars 7, Minnesota Wild 11

Second Period:

Stephane Veilleux gave Dallas its first chance on the power play early in the second minute for high-sticking Jyrki Jokipakka. Even with one of its penalty killers in the sin bin, the Wild limited Dallas to one shot on goal.

At the expiration of the power play, Minnesota’s top two lines turned on the jets and put on quite a performance while digging for the game’s first goal. Registering tons of shot attempts, the Wild hounded Enroth. As the third line came to the ice, Schroeder was called offsides after receiving a two-line pass that brought the face-off all the way back to the Wild’s end. The Wild didn’t change after the play, so I confused it for icing and pitched a fit on twitter, but I was wrong.

Mikael Granlund showed the first flashes of a brilliant night by stick handling around a couple of defensemen in the slot… from his knees. Seriously, it was insanity. It didn’t result in a goal, but it was awesome.

Mikko Koivu sent the Stars back to the power play in the 11th minute. Dallas put two shots on goal before Erik Haula and Kyle Brodziak tried to capitalize on a 2-on-1. Brodziak fed Haula, but the snakebit Finn put a little too much on his shot and it caught Enroth in the shoulder before bouncing in to the protective netting.

Barely back on the ice from his first penalty, Koivu was sent back to the box for delay of game; however, Koivu’s zone clearing attempt hit Jonas Brodin in the side of the helmet before bouncing out of play. Brodin went straight down the tunnel to be evaluated but returned later.

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  • Jason Spezza ended Minnesota’s Penalty kill streak at 32 with a rocketing slap shot from the right face-off dot that went in just inside the crossbar on the short side to make it 1-0 Dallas at 14:33 of the second period. It was bound to happen with the Wild spending 5 minutes on the penalty kill.

    Towards the end of the second period, Parise was CLEARLY tripped / interfered with in the defensive zone by Jason Demers, but no penalty was assessed on the play. Mike Yeo went bananas on the referees during the next stoppage in play.

    Shots after two periods: Dallas Stars 15, Minnesota Wild 20

    Third Period:

    Parise tied game for the Wild in the first minute. The Wild’s leading scorer  won a board battle with

    Cody Eakin

    and fed

    Christian Folin

    at the point before skating to the far side of the crease. Folin skated down to the extended goal line and made an insane backhanded pass across the crease that landed right on Parise’s stick. Zach tapped it home to make it a

    1-1 tie at 01:40 of the third period.

    Not even two minutes later, Koivu put the Wild in the lead for the first time all game. After Suter forced

    Erik Cole

    to cough up the puck in the Wild’s offensive zone, Koivu snagged it and fired a sharp angle wrister that looked to bounce off of Enroth’s left leg pad and in.

    2-1 Wild at 03:23 of the third period.

    From there, the rout was on. Around the 8th minute,

    Marco Scandella

    teed up one of his insane slap shots and put it right in to the torso of Enroth. Enroth couldn’t play the puck cleanly and it bounced to the ice where Veilleux tipped it in to make it

    3-1 Wild at 08:41 of the third period.

    Congratulations to Veilleux on his first goal of the season. The dedicated bottom-6 guy doesn’t score a lot, so take a look at his reaction in the video below. That’s pure joy, folks.

    Niederreiter and Granlund were both denied on breakaway bids in the ensuing minutes. You could see the frustration mounting in Dallas’ play and it culminated with Marco Scandella drawing a penalty in the neutral zone.

    After a repeat of the Wild’s first power play with Vanek and Parise taking several quick tries in tight, The Wild’s second power play unit came on the ice and

    Mathew Dumba

    scored. With 22 seconds left in the power play, Granlund found Dumba inside the right face-off circle and the blossoming defenseman snapped home his 4th of the year to make it

    4-1 Wild at 13:25 of the third period.

    A minute later, Granlund switched from playmaker to goal scorer with his second breakaway bid of the night. Granlund picked up a long, outlet pass from Nate Prosser, flew through the offensive zone and cut across the crease before tucking a shot past Enroth’s right leg pad to make it 5-1 Wild at 14:33 of the third period.

    Finally, Parise snagged his second of the night. Pressuring

    John Klingberg

    behind the net, Parise forced Klingberg to try to clear the puck. Klingberg’s clearing attempt hit the back of Granlund’s leg, Parise picked up the loose puck turned and put a slow backhander through Enroth’s 5-hole to make it

    6-1 Wild at 17:52 of the third period.

    Granlund picked up the only assist to complete a 3-point night.

    Spezza scored his second of the night before the Wild’s announcer finished announcing Parise’s goal to make it 6-2 Wild at 18:17 of the third period.  Nice of Spezza to grab a pair of goals, but it wasn’t enough, as the Wild used a franchise record 6-goal period to cruise past the Dallas Stars.

    Final shots on goal: Dallas Stars 20, Minnesota Wild 35

    Trembley’s Take:

    Really, really good 3rd period by the Wild. The rest of the game was kind of bland, but that final frame was amazing.

    Christian Folin is gonna be a real-deal defenseman, folks. Tonight was his first NHL multi-point game and now has 3 points in 2 games. He also led all Wild blueliners with a 65% even-strength corsi for in just over 13 minutes of ice time. I can’t help but wonder if Folin’s solid play takes some of the pressure off at the trade deadline.

    Parise and Granlund were awesome tonight, too. Parise has 25 goals and Granlund has 24 (6g-18a) points on the season. I know we were expecting more from Granlund this season, but he’s got awesome vision and is a great possession player. I’d expect the Wild to lock him up soon.

    Charlie Coyle was a non-factor tonight. I’m not sure why, either. I just don’t get it. He’ll get there. He needs his edge back.

    Lastly, let’s get to goaltending, because I think it’s important. Dubnyk was solid again tonight and kept the Wild in the game without being forced to make a ton of huge saves. It’s no secret that he’s probably this season’s savior and will likely re-sign with the Minnesota Wild. With that said, I think the Wild need to start Darcy Kuemper on Tuesday. Kuemper needs to shake the rust off before the Wild embark on a very long, busy March. This is the time to do it. He can beat Edmonton.

    Talk to you Tuesday. Thanks for reading!!