Minnesota Wild Use 3-goal 2nd To Sail Past New Jersey Devils


Final. 6. 98. 2. 85

After an even, fast-paced first period, the Minnesota Wild used a 3 goal 2nd period to outrun the New Jersey Devils and win by a final score of 6-2. Thomas Vanek scored twice and Sean Bergenheim added his first goal as a member of the Minnesota Wild.

Good morning, Minnesota Wild fans. After a frustrating loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday, the Wild rebounded with a solid win tonight. 4 separate Wild players registered 2 points, Devan Dubnyk put forward another great performance, and all 4 lines contributed to scoring. Don’t forget to check out Dustin’s top-7 stats of the week, one of my favorite features.

First Period:

It didn’t take long for the Wild to establish some good scoring chances and put shots on goal. They had a tough time unlocking Cory Schneider, though that would change later.

More from Editorials

2 minutes in, the Wild went to the power play after Sean Bergenheim drew a high sticking penalty in the offensive zone. The Wild’s coaching staff was quick to pull the less productive top power play unit in favor of the Nino NiederreiterMikael Granlund led second unit. No shots on goal in the first power play of the night, but I feel like the second unit had better chances.

Speaking of seconds, I think the 2nd line for the Wild was the best on the ice all night. Niederreiter, Mikko Koiuv, and Chris Stewart have developed great chemistry.

Dubnyk stayed fairly busy in the first period. The Wild allowed several odd-man rushes from the offensive blue line and the pace of the game was fairly prohibitive of shot blocking.

Outshooting the Devils in the first few minutes, New Jersey caught up significantly as the period wore on until Sean Bergenheim opened the scoring.  After

Kyle Brodziak’s

open net bid was deflected by

Scott Gomez

, the rebound caromed off the end wall and Brodziak sent it back to Bergenheim for a quick wrist shot that went over the glove of Schneider to make it

1-0 Wild at 18:57 of the first period.

Shots after one period: New Jersey Devils 15, Minnesota Wild 14

Second period:

It took all of 13 seconds for the Wild to add to its lead. Fresh off a neutral zone draw, Koivu fired a shot that bounced off of Schneider’s leg pad and landed right on the stick of Chris Stewart, who flipped a backhander over the right leg of Schneider to make it 2-0 Wild at 00:13 of the second period. 

A couple of minutes later, the Wild earned its second power play. Once again, the Wild couldn’t convert with the man advantage, but the second power play unit wore down New Jersey enough for the Wild to score again. Stewart flipped a shot up and over the Devils’ net. Granlund scooped up the loose puck and sent it to Jared Spurgeon for a one-timer that trickled under the leg pads of Schneider to make it 3-0 Wild at 04:23 of the second period. Once again, the Wild fails to convert on a power play but uses the energy from the second unit to keep play alive.

Dainius Zubrus scored for New Jersey just past the midway point to keep things interesting. Steve Bernier fed Zubrus in the slot for a quick, clean wrister over the shoulder of Dubnyk to make it 3-1 Wild at 10:03 of the second period. 

Thomas Vanek’s first of the night came off a 2-on-2 generated by Justin Fontaine and Charlie Coyle. Fontaine put a shot on goal that bounced behind the net where Coyle picked it up and put a pass through the legs of Schneider and on to the stick of Vanek. Vanek sent a wrister in to the open weak side of the net to make it 4-1 Wild at 13:01 of the second period.

Shots after two periods: New Jersey Devils 24, Minnesota Wild 29

Third Period:

Jason Pominville added an early third period goal to chase Schneider out of the crease. Zach Parise and Granlund walked in to the zone with Spurgeon. Spurgeon moved down to below the goal line, took a pass from Parise, and fed a trailing Pominville for a one-timer between the face-off circles that ripped past Schneider to make it 5-1 Wild at 01:13 of the third period. 5 goals on 30 shots is not a typical night for Schneider, so he was pulled in favor of Keith Kinkaid.

The Wild finally converted on the power play (in what seems like forever) in the 8th minute. After Andy Greene turned over the puck in the offensive zone, Vanek tried for a net front tap in that went wide. The puck made its way to Suter for a one-timer that bounced off Schneider before Parise and Vanek both got sticks on it to push it past Kinkaid and make it 6-1 Wild at 8:18 of the third period.

Scott Gomez scored 22 seconds later on a tip-in to make it 6-2 Wild at 08:40 of the third period. 

The Wild had another chance on the power play that went nowhere, and the rest of the game took a tepid tone before the final horn sounded.

Final shots on goal: New Jersey Devils 32, Minnesota Wild 38

Trembley’s Take:

If only the Wild Could have scored a couple extra goals on Sunday night. This win, coupled with Winnipeg’s regulation loss to St. Louis, helps the Wild’s playoff chances immensely. The Wild moves to within 3 points of the idle Chicago Blackhawks.

With an extremely tough schedule ahead, its nice to see the Wild get scoring from all over the ice, though I stand by my assertion that the 2nd line was the best the Wild put out.

There was a report that Niederreiter was playing at 80% due to a groin injury. I didn’t see it. I think he played a great game.

Begenheim played well tonight, leading the Wild with 5 shots on goal. I thought this was his last chance before moving to the press box, so he responded well enough to stay.

Talk to you Friday, when the Anaheim Ducks visit the X for a 7:00 puck drop. Thanks for reading!!

More from Gone Puck Wild