Minnesota Wild win in shootout
SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- With the playoffs rapidly approaching and the Minnesota Wild currently on the outside looking in, any way to get two points is acceptable. Even if it that means a come-from-ahead shootout win.Charlie Coyle and Zach Parise sco...
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - With the playoffs rapidly approaching and the Minnesota Wild currently on the outside looking in, any way to get two points is acceptable. Even if it that means a come-from-ahead shootout win.
Charlie Coyle and Zach Parise scored in a shootout as Wild got a rare home win, beating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 on Saturday afternoon.
Jason Zucker and David Jones scored in regulation for Minnesota, which has won just three games at Xcel Energy Center since 2016 began. The Wild (33-28-11) got 31 saves from goalie Devan Dubnyk and remain in the playoff hunt, one point behind the Colorado Avalanche in the race for the final postseason slot in the West. Dubnyk stopped two of three shots in the shootout.
“We did a good job. Everyone played well, and it was a good response,” said Wild interim head coach John Torchetti, who shook up the lineup after an ugly 7-4 loss in New Jersey on Thursday. “We didn’t have to chase the game. Every play is a big play and everyone knows it. It’s good for our team to play those games.”
Chris Terry and Jordan Staal scored the goals for the Hurricanes (31-27-14), who are currently five points out of a playoff spot in the East, and could sink further back of eighth-place Detroit pending Saturday night’s results. Cam Ward had 30 saves for the Hurricanes, now winless in their last four (0-1-3).
“He made big saves and gave us a chance and we hung around,” said Hurricanes coach Bill Peters in praise of his goalie. “We never had the lead, and they got an early one in the third. That can be a little bit tough to overcome mentally but our guys did a good job, and we pushed and had some looks ourselves. It came down to a skills competition again.”
The opening 20 minutes were dead even, with both teams getting one penalty, both teams getting seven shots on goal and neither team finding a way to score.
Minnesota finally broke the deadlock with 4:23 to play in the middle period when Jones scored his second goal as a member of the Wild. Nino Niederreiter passed from behind the Carolina net to Erik Haula, who was between the circles. Ward blocked Haula’s low shot with the goalie’s left leg pad, but the puck sat uncovered in the crease for a half-second.
That was just long enough for Jones to fight off Carolina rookie defenseman Noah Hanifin and pop the puck up over the goalie. It was the 11th goal of the season for Jones, who came to Minnesota in a trade with the Calgary Flames on Feb. 29.
The Hurricanes needed less than two minutes to answer when Terry snapped a 12-game goal drought. Hanifin’s outlet pass sprung Terry and Nathan Gerbe on a two-on-one rush into the offensive zone. From the right circle, Terry ripped a rising shot that beat Dubnyk’s glove.
Zucker re-established the Wild lead just 16 seconds into the third. After bring the puck into the zone, Zucker got the puck to Wild captain Mikko Koivu, who shot from the left circle. The puck hit the lip of Ward’s glove and rebounded to the top of the crease, hitting Zucker in the abdomen and falling to the ice. Zucker wheeled around and slap the puck over the line before Ward could get back in position.
“It’s always nice to get a goal,” said Zucker, who was a healthy scratch for two games last week. “But more than that, it was nice to help the team get a win tonight, in any way. Whether that’s shots on net, blocking shots or getting a goal, it was nice to help us get that win. It was two very-needed points.”
But Staal capitalized on a juicy rebound to forge a 2-2 tie. Dubnyk stopped a tipped shot by Elias Lindholm but sticked away the loose puck and inadvertently directed it right to Staal, waiting at the left of the net. He shot high over the sprawling goalie for Staal’s second goal in the past three games.
“It was a tight game,” Staal said. “I think both teams weren’t giving up a whole lot and didn’t want to make that mistake. They snuck away with one to get ahead, and I thought we did a good job of sticking with it and found a way to get to overtime. It’s never fun giving up that point.”
Both teams had chances in overtime, with Carolina controlling much of the play, and Lindholm getting thwarted by Dubnyk on a breakaway in the final seconds.