Minnesota Wild Put On The Pressure But Detroit Red Wings Win In Shootout


72. Final. 2 (so). 98. 3

Zach Parise’s 5th multi-goal game of the season was enough to force the extra session, but an 8-round shootout went the way of the Detroit Red Wings. The Wild grabbed a critical point, but was unable to clinch a playoff spot.

Good morning Minnesota Wild fans. For the second time this season, the Detroit Red Wings topped the Minnesota Wild, but it took a shootout to finish the game. In serendipitous fashion, Zach Parise scored in the 3rd to force overtime just like he did in Detroit earlier this year. Because of the shootout loss combined with wins by the Kings, Jets, and Flames; the Wild will have to wait until Monday for a chance to clinch a playoff spot.

First Period:

Just before the opening puck drop, it was announced that Mikko Koivu was a late scratch with an eye injury after taking part in the opening warm-ups.  Erik Haula took Koivu’s place between Chris Stewart and Nino Niederreiter.

From the opening puck drop, this game had a ton of speed. Both teams lean towards a finesse game, and that makes for great hockey. That being said, the Red Wings dominated puck possession in the first 20 minutes. Jared Spurgeon had the Wild’s best chance in the first few minutes, putting a booming slap shot right in to the chest of Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard.

On the other end, I thought Devan Dubnyk had a little trouble with rebounds, even though he made some incredible saves.

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Niklas Kronwall sent the Wild to its first power play. The power play failed to click and allowed 2 shorthanded bids by Detroit. One of those chances gave Dubnyk the opportunity to make an incredible save on Darren Helm. If you didn’t get a chance to see the video, have a look below. What an incredible save by Dubnyk.

The Wild’s defensive corps continues to impress with its offense. Tonight, I really liked Spurgeon and Marco Scandella. Scandella is slowly but surely regaining his slapshot. Spurgeon, who just might be on the trade block down the road, has been rock solid this season and jumped up on the rush all night.

After some glorious blue line work, Zach Parise opened the scoring in the 14th minute. The Wild’s top line sustained a bit of zone pressure before Pavel Datsyuk settled things down and gave the puck to Tomas Tatar. As Tatar reached the defensive blue line, Scandella pressured the puck loose. Jason Pominville picked up the puck and passed it to Mikael Granlund at the base of the right face-off circle. Granlund stickhandled his way around Danny DeKeyser and fed Parise at the top of the crease. From there, Parise flipped the puck through Howard’s 5-hole to make it 1-0 Wild at 14:07 of the first period.

Less than 2 minutes later, the Red Wings tied the game. Stephen Weiss put a shot on goal that bounced off of Dubnyk and landed just outside the crease. Riley Sheahan picked up the loose puck and fired it up and over Dubnyk’s leg pad to make it a 1-1 tie at 15:59 of the first period.

Dubnyk made a quality save on Datsyuk to end the period.

Shots after one period: Detroit Red Wings 7, Minnesota Wild 4

Second Period:

A little line shuffling served to benefit the Wild, with Haula moving to the 3rd line and Charlie Coyle centering the 2nd line. I’ll talk more about this later. The Wild picked up the pace a bit, including a good chance by Thomas Vanek that Howard bobbled a bit while Justin Fontaine and Haula sniffed for rebounds. Howard probably received a quick whistle, but that happens.

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  • The Wild went back to the power play in the 6th minute after Kronwall went back to the box for interference. Just over a minute in to the power play, Kyle Quincey gave the Wild a chance at 5-on-3 with an interference penalty of his own. The Wild put forth an admirable effort, but they couldn’t convert with almost a minute of 5-on-3 and plenty of time at 5-on-4.

    Gustav Nyquist put the Red Wings in the lead in the 17th minute. With a holding penalty on Haula set to expire, Nyquist took a pass from Henrik Zetterberg and buried it through a puck sized hole over the shoulder of Dubnyk to make it 2-1 Red Wings at 17:13 of the second period. I hate to say it, but it was a beautiful goal.

    Shots after two periods: Detroit Red Wings 14, Minnesota Wild 12

    Third Period:

    The Wild and Red Wings exchanged 2-on-1 chances early in the 3rd, with neither clicking. From there, the third period belonged to the Wild, who had the bulk of the chances.

    DeKeyser went to the box for closing his hand on the puck at 5:59, giving the Wild its 4th power play chance. This time, the Wild converted. Much like the power play tries in the second period; the Wild did well to hold the offensive zone. Thomas Vanek actually shook off 3 defenders to get the puck to Ryan Suter at the point and keep the play alive. Suter sent the puck to the left point where Pominville put a slap pass towards the net. Parise deflected the shot through Howard’s 5-hole to make it a 2-2 tie at 06:33 of the third period.

    Fontaine took a holding penalty that sent the Red Wings to the power play for 1:56 before the Red Wings ended up with too many men on the ice. The Wild’s almost 2 minutes of power play time didn’t really go anywhere.

    The Wild had one more chance at the power play, but couldn’t put this one away in regulation. Off to overtime we go.

    Shots on goal in regulation: Detroit Red Wings 21, Minnesota Wild 24

    Overtime and Shootout:

    No real great chances on either side in overtime. Coyle put a great chance over the head of Howard and Fontaine rang a shot wide. Jordan Schroeder broke up a 3-on-1 to prevent the Red Wings from putting it away.

    The shootout went eight rounds before Darren Helm won the game for the Red Wings. If you didn’t see Vanek’s around the world stickhandling to open up Howard, take a look below. It’s only weird if it doesn’t work, right?

     Trembley’s Take:

    Well, one point is better than none, right? The Minnesota Wild needed to take a point away from this one, and they did just that. Wins by the Jets, Kings, and Flames kept the pressure on the Wild, so the point really helped.

    Erik Haula had his chance on the second line but just couldn’t get it done and ended up right back on the 4th line. Considering Niederreiter and Stewart had awesome games, it really comes down to Haula’s play. Haula really isn’t progressing well and may be playing his way out of the line up come playoff time. Given the Wild’s lack of depth at center, it’s tough to see Haula walking, but he needs to get it figured out.

    Zach Parise had an incredible night. He’s always a workhorse on the ice, but he really stepped up last night with his 39th career multi-goal game. Accounting for all of the offense tonight, there should be no doubt that this game went to the shootout thanks to him. It would’ve been nice to see him net the hat trick, but he didn’t. Oh well.

    This is the first time in the Devan Dubnyk era that the Wild has lost 2 games in a row. After the Rangers game, I reminded you that it was just one loss. Now, I want you to remember that it’s just two losses, with this one coming in the shootout. The Red Wings are a good team and the Minnesota Wild played them very well. With the Winnipeg Jets on the horizon for Monday, the Wild should be happy with how they’ve played.

    Talk to you Monday. Thanks for reading!

    Next: Which Thomas Vanek Will We See In The Playoffs?

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