Minnesota Wild Score Twice In 3rd, Beat The Washington Capitals


Final. 1. 19. 2. 98

The Minnesota Wild (35-22-7) rallied in the 3rd thanks to a 2-goal performance by Jason Pominville to beat the Washington Capitals (35-21-10) Zach Parise registered 2 assists.

Good morning, Minnesota Wild fans. Prior to tonight’s game, the Washington Capitals were a stunning 30-1-4 when they score first. The Wild made that record a little less impressive, scoring twice in the 3rd to end the game in regulation. The Capitals, without Alex Ovechkin, did manage to sneak a power play goal past Minnesota’s 2nd ranked penalty kill, but it wasn’t enough. Zach Parise (0-2) and Jason Pominville (2-0) both had 2-point nights in the win. Help us welcome back writer Jon Nomland by checking out his story on the Wild’s week ahead.

First Period:

Washington came out of the gate in a hurry, out chancing the Wild at even strength until Thomas Vanek took a high-sticking penalty in the second minute.

The penalty came after a offside call against the Caps, so the face-off came from outside the blue line. On Washington’s first zone entry,

Curtis Glencross

put a shot on goal from the right-wing wall near the extended goal line that somehow beat

Devan Dubnyk

just inside the post to make it

1-0 Capitals at 02:51 of the first period.

Here’s the video, because I’m not quite sure how Glencross managed to sneak that shot past Dubnyk.

Mathew Dumba put a little fear in to my heart when he got crushed between Tom Wilson and Brooks Laich. Dumba left the ice and went straight down the tunnel, but returned a short while later. The Wild really can’t afford any more injuries to its blue line, so I’m glad he’s alright.

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After about 5 minutes of letting the Capitals run around with the puck, the Wild tightened up defensively and generated a bunch of offense. The best part of the Wild’s game, especially in the first period, was its tenacity for rebounds. Each initial scoring chance came with 3-4 rebound chances that couldn’t get past Braden Holtby.

Shots after one period: Minnesota Wild, Washington Capitals 8

Second Period:

No scoring in the second, but there were some great chances on both sides.

Vanek took a centering pass from Charlie Coyle early on but couldn’t put it past Holtby. Jordan Schroeder, playing in place of an injured Nino Niederreiter, also had 2-3 chances in close early on in the second.

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  • Mikael Granlund had a golden chance in the low slot with a feed from Zach Parise, but he put the puck right in to Holtby’s torso.

    Ryan Suter had a slap shot pop over the head of Holtby, as did Jonas Brodin. Brodin has been absolutely stellar in the offensive zone lately, hasn’t he? He’s not a big point producer, but he does well to keep plays alive.

    Sean Bergenheim had a couple of quality chances as well. A lot of line shuffling saw him play with Coyle and Schroeder, making a speed mismatch that didn’t quite fit for the Wild.

    Marcus Johannson hit his first of 3 goalposts on the night during an odd-man rush with a satisfying clink. Dubnyk is going to make sure the goalpost gets a fresh paint job for saving his bacon tonight.

    The Wild earned its first power play of the night with less than a minute to go in the second, registering just one shot on goal.

    Shots after two periods: Minnesota Wild 19, Washington Capitals 15

    Third Period:

    The Wild’s power play unit fizzled out to start the final frame, and the Wild spent the ensuing 2-3 minutes in its defensive end before Jason Pominville tied the game.

    With one of the referees down on the ice in the Wild’s end, the Wild’s top line went to work in the offensive zone with Suter and Dumba in tow. Parise centered for Pominville, who tried a tip-in bid that Holtby didn’t cleanly stop. Pominville, with his stick caught underneath Holtby, stayed in front of the net and waited for reinforcements. Parise crashed the crease and put a second shot on goal as Pominville recovered his stick. Holtby coughed up his second rebound in about 5 seconds and it landed in front of Pominville who pushed the puck in to the net while on his knees to make it a

    1-1 tie at 09:19 of the third period.

    Now, a tie game in regulation gives the Wild a point and helps keep the Wild ahead of the Calgary Flames. So that’s good, right? Well, it’s not good enough for Pominville and Devan Dubnyk.

    First, Dubnyk stops a clear

    Eric Fehr

    shot from the low slot that looked earmarked for twine.

    Then, a couple of minutes later, as

    Mike Green

    tried to exit Washington’s defensive zone, Parise forced a turnover with a good check at the blue line. Pominville picked up the loose puck, carried it to the left face-off dot, and let loose a slap shot that brushed Holtby’s sleeve and made it

    2-1 Wild at 14:28 of the third period

    Holtby was pulled with around 2 minutes left, and the Wild fended off the Capitals until they drew a power play. Washington managed to gain the zone shorthanded, pull Holtby again, and try for an equalizer at 5-on-5 in front of an empty net. The Wild responded by holding the Caps without a shot on goal or a shot attempt. That’s how you win games, folks.

    Final shots on goal: Minnesota Wild 30, Washington Capitals 25

    Trembley’s Take:

    Let’s get right to it. With tonight’s win, the Wild leapfrog the idle Winnipeg Jets for 4th in the division and take the top wild card spot in the West. They also have 2 games in hand over the Jets.

    Holding a high-octane offense to just one goal is impressive. Ovechkin or not, this is a high-powered offense. The Wild out shot the Capitals by 5 and had 9 more shot attempts (55-49.) That’s even more impressive.

    Discipline was the key to this win. The Wild stayed patient, played its game, and rallied to win. It’s nice to see Parise and Pominville contribute, too. Pominville’s up to 15 goals on the year. He won’t hit 30 like he did last season, but that’s okay.

    The thing that makes me think the Wild are going to make the playoffs and potentially a deep run is the ability of the whole team to step up and contribute offensively when the chance arises. Pominville has been in a slump (by his 30-goal standard) all season, but put 2 away tonight. Parise has been off the stat sheet for a handful of games, but contributed 2 primary assists tonight.

    Devan Dubnyk was solid again. He’s the savior of this team, and if the Wild do go deep in to the playoffs, I expect some MVP votes to float his way. I’m not saying he’ll win, but I do think you can point at him as the reason the Wild has been so successful. No word on whether he’ll start in Carolina Sunday. I’m hoping Darcy Kuemper gets the start, but we’ll see.

    The Wild are right back at it tonight when they visit Raleigh to take on the Carolina Hurricanes at 6:00 central. Talk to you then. Thanks for reading!!

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