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Wild use another second-period explosion to blow past Bruins

BOSTON -- In serious need of a victory on the third leg of a weeklong road trip, the Wild used another big second period to earn a convincing 5-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night at the TD Garden.

Boston Bruins center Tim Schaller (59) gets ready to throw a punch at Minnesota Wild center Zac Dalpe (27) during the first period at TD Garden in Boston. Photo by Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Bruins center Tim Schaller (59) gets ready to throw a punch at Minnesota Wild center Zac Dalpe (27) during the first period at TD Garden in Boston. Photo by Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON - In serious need of a victory on the third leg of a weeklong road trip, the Wild used another big second period to earn a convincing 5-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night at the TD Garden.

Those second-period explosions have become part of the Wild's identity early in the season. Coach Bruce Boudreau even joked this week that he's going to have to start telling his team the games start at 6:30 p.m.

And after yet another sleepy start, the Wild woke up and scored four goals in the second period and coasted from there. They lead the NHL with 15 second-period goals this season.

With usual starter Tuukka Rask out for the Bruins and usual backup Anton Khudobin also out, third-stringer Malcom Subban was thrust into the starting role. Although the Wild helped Subban settle in early on, when they woke up in the second period, the kid never stood a chance.

Charlie Coyle, who grew up less than a half-hour away from Boston, scored a little more than five minutes into the second period to give the Wild an early lead. He corralled a bouncing puck in the slot and blindly fired a shot on net that found its way past Subban. It was Coyle's first career goal against his hometown team.

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Then the floodgates opened.

With Coyle still catching his breath on the bench, Chris Stewart scored 12 seconds later to help extend the lead. Stewart settled in near the right circle and fired a shot past Subban after phenomenal individual efforts by Joel Eriksson Ek and Jason Zucker to win puck battles behind the net.

Although the WIld have struggled to extend leads early this season, they had no problem doing so against Subban.

Ryan Suter got into the scoring action later in the period on the power play following a bone-headed penalty from Adam McQuaid. Suter needed only five seconds to blast home a goal from above the right circle.

That goal chased Subban, who finished an abysmal night with a 81.3 save percentage. Zane McIntyre, who was called up Tuesday afternoon as the emergency backup, relieved Subban and was marginally better.

Zucker capped the offensive explosion for the Wild late in the period, tipping home a Suter blast from the point. It was Zucker's first goal of the season.

The third period got a little chippy, namely when Zac Dalpe, who registered a five-minute major for fighting Tim Schaller earlier in the game, checked Noel Acciari into the boards on a play in which the outcome looked much worse than the intent. Dalpe was promptly jumped by a host of Bruins, and chaos ensued.

As the period wore on, cooler heads prevailed and Jason Pominville tacked on a goal late in the game. Eriksson Ek assisted on the goal and finished his night with three points in only the third game of his career.

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Devan Dubnyk finished with 27 saves to earn the shutout.

Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek (14) tries to get past Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid (54) during the second period at TD Garden in Boston Wednesday night. Photo by Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek (14) tries to get past Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid (54) during the second period at TD Garden in Boston Wednesday night. Photo by Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

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