Live In-Game Commentary: @ Ottawa

The puck is just about to drop, so let’s get to some pre-game analysis here. The Wild came out very flat against the Isles yesterday afternoon, and I would not expect a repeat performance of that tonight. Look for the Wild to be more focused and look to control play better than they did against New York, and that will be the key against an Ottawa team that gives up a lot of goals, but can put crooked numbers up on the board very quickly as well. Also, look for Backstrom to have a better night in net than he did yesterday, as the Wild will do a better job of keeping the play in front of them. If the Wild can do that successfully, look for them to get back in the win column.

1st Period

20:00 – The puck is down and the game’s underway. Your Minnesota Wild are starting the game with Powe, Cullen and Latendresse up front and Zidlicky and Zanon on the blueline.

19:42 – And Guillaume Latendresse is going to be heading off for hooking Stephane DaCosta for a Sens PP.

(Scoreboard problems on FSN, so no idea what time it is) – The Heatley Sucks chants have started already. You’d think they’d be over this by now…

(Still scoreboard problems) – The Wild have been getting hemmed in their own zone early on the PK here, but Backstrom has been very sharp stopping a couple solid chances.

17:42 – Latendresse is out of the box and the Wild have killed the penalty.

(More problems) – The Wild’s first line finally gets a chance on the ice and they get some good pressure, culminating in a solid shot on Anderson.

16:10 – And the scoreboard’s fixed and the Wild’s checking line of Powe, Kassian and Johnson do a great job of keeping the puck deep in Ottawa’s zone.

14:45 – Ottawa is buzzing and the Wild are again having a difficult time controlling the puck, but Backstrom looks really sharp early.

14:30 – Shots early are 10-2 Ottawa, but keep in mind a bulk of that came on the Sens’ early PP.

12:40 – Minnesota is struggling to get anything going, but the effort is definitely there. Ottawa is doing a good job of clogging up the shooting lanes and passing lanes and are playing great in transition to get the puck moving quick and get something on Backstrom.

Update – In case you’re wondering, Pascal Dupuis just scored for Pittsburgh to make it 1-0 Pens

12:19 – Kyle Brodziak puts the Wild up for the first time on the road with a beautiful tip on a Clayton Stoner shot. 1-0 Wild!

10:21 – Kassian and Konopka face off for the Wild’s first tussle and the two are just kind of just hanging on for dear life right now, neither man really getting the advantage in a little bit of a wrestling match. Konopka is also going to get the extra two for instigating.

9:14 – Heatley looked for Scandella pinching in, but Scandella didn’t really look like he was expecting it as he just wasn’t where he needed to be, but a great look by Heatley early.

8:21 – The instigator penalty is over and the Wild just couldn’t get anything going on their power play, not ever really getting solid possession or looks when they had possession.

7:00 – Heatley had a great chance, but just couldn’t find the corner he wanted. Anderson turned him away and the crowd booed.

4:48 – Icing against the Sens, and the Wild are going to get a good chance to extend their lead against some tired Sens.

3:55 – Good chance for the Sens as Backstrom lost sight of the puck and he was flopping around looking for it, but the Wild’s defense took control and directed it out of harm’s way.

2:01 – Setoguchi had a great shot in close, but he just couldn’t get the puck on net, the defender tipping the puck up over the goal.

1:29 – Nice hit by Bulmer on Spezza and Spezza gets caught retaliating and the Wild have a power play. Have I mentioned I like this Bulmer kid?

48.4 – What a RIFLE of a one-timer by Setoguchi, who gets set up by Heatley and Koivu and just sneaks in and fires off a one-timer. Holy buckets what a shot! 2-0 Wild

00.0 – The Wild have stormed out of the gates in a really exciting first period of hockey here against Ottawa. We’ll see if they can keep it going during the second!

2nd Period

20:00 – The all-important second period is here for the Wild. They’ll need to keep their play up if they want to keep their 2-0 lead, so let’s get to it!

19:15 – Good defensive play by Scandella, who broke up a play by Spezza, blocking his pass across the crease and allowing Backstrom to maintain his position.

18:02 – Chris Neil is being a really brave man, challenging the Wild’s top players, then skating away when Matt Kassian gets out onto the ice. Good to see the young guy can intimidate veterans.

17:14 – Brodziak “slipped in behind the defense” (read: was cherry picking) and got a breakaway chance on Anderson, but fired the puck wide. Great breakout passing by the Wild to get it through the defense to him.

16:22 – Chris Neil just laid out Stoner behind the Wild’s net, with a HUGE (and clean) hit. Stoner got right up and finished his shift, which is a good sign for the big guy.

15:55 – Guillaume Latendresse got involved with Chris Phillips at the end boards and…Brett Bulmer gets a charging penalty?

15:55 – Okay, they showed the replay and Bulmer did sort of charge Neil, so I guess that’s where it came from.

14:48 – Minnesota is really doing a great job so far on the penalty kill, not letting the Sens get any sort of pressure whatsoever.

14:02 – Alfredsson gets two great one-timers on Backstrom, the first of which got cleared out behind the net by the Wild’s goalie and the second that Backstrom just ate up.

13:35 – Bulmer comes out of the box and plays the puck with a high stick for a whistle. Great kill by the Wild there.

Update – For those interested, it’s 2-1 Pittsburgh in the NHL’s other game tonight.

12:30 – That’s the Cal Clutterbuck we all know and love. Erik Karlsson moves the puck, but not before Cal pasted him into the boards.

11:43 – You just can’t let a team have this much time in the offensive zone, and Nick Foligno grabs a puck that squirted loose in front of the crease and puts it home. Time for the Wild to regroup. 2-1 Wild.

10:56 – HUGE glove save by Backstrom on Alfredsson, snatching the puck out of the air and preventing another goal. Despite the goal, Backstrom looks very solid and very confident in net.

10:12 – A funky bounce off of the boards (something that is all too common tonight) bounces off of DaCosta’s shin pads and causes Backstrom to search for the puck a bit. He found it though. Or, at least, sat on it.

9:31 – Konopka shows some good hands in the offensive zone, but the Wild just get a stick on the puck and break up the chance.

Update – It’s 3-1 Pens after two in Pittsburgh.

9:00 – Minnesota is being outshot 10-1 in the second period. I’d officially call this a lull.

6:45 – The Wild are starting to get some time in the offensive zone, but no shots come from it yet and Cal Clutterbuck is mic’d up pretty nicely, so you could hear some great audio from Clutter. R-rated, though.

5:50 – Powe gets his stick tangled in the legs of Chris Phillips and will go for tripping. Not really much you can do about that.

4:34 – Big blast by Rundblad and Backstrom makes the stop. The Wild are still doing a good job of keeping the Sens to the outside.

3:50 – Powe’s penalty is over and the Wild are back at full strength. Great kill by the Minnesota Wild.

27.8 – Well, apparently Sens players don’t like Heatley much either. First it was Neil, now it’s Foligno that are “jockeying for position” with him.

00.0 – The Wild are lucky to get out of that one with a lead, as they had their typical second-period lull. They need to come out hard in the third, though, to really get control of this game.

3rd Period

20:00 – The Wild need a rebound period here to get a W here, as Ottawa has outscored their opponents 8-3 in the third period in two games this season.

18:21 – Cullen tried to get the puck up to Latendresse, who was streaking, but turned the puck over and almost gave up a scoring chance. The Wild need to rebound from their rough first period.

18:04 – Goal? I’m not sure who knocked it in, but I think it was Nick Johnson and the refs are calling that a goal, but we’re likely going to have a review on that one because that was VERY close. Right now, it’s 3-1 Wild but it could go back to 2-1.

18:04 – Well, that was a quick review and they call it a good goal and Nick Johnson will get his first goal as a member of the Wild.

16:11 – Cullen causes a turnover in the Ottawa zone and fires a shot on net, but the rebound handcuffs Latendresse and he just can’t get a shot off.

13:48 – And the Sens get a goal waved off immediately, and now there’s just mayhem on the ice as Clutterbuck and Michalek are in a bit of a wrestling match, as are Phillips and Brodziak. And I’ve got no idea what’s going on.

13:48 – And they rule that a good goal and, again, it was a quick and good review. Neil buried the puck off of a rebound and brings it to 3-2 Wild. I’m not sure, though, why Neil isn’t getting a third-man in penalty there though as both Clutterbuck and Michalek are going to the box and Neil jumped right in the middle of that fracas after he scored.

13:11 – And a penalty behind the play as Zidlicky gets called for high sticking behind the play and the Wild need to calm down here and play hockey instead of playing Ottawa’s game.’

12:37 – Backstrom smothers the puck after he decided not to earlier in the play and the Wild didn’t get the puck out. This is a huge kill for the Wild.

12:24 – Koivu clears the puck out of the zone after a good save by Backstrom and the Wild get some breathing room for a moment.

11:37 – The puck squirts free and Greening buries the puck as none of the Wild can get a stick on the puck and Backstrom had no idea where that puck was. The game’s tied at three.

10:41 – That last goal might have woken the Wild up a little bit, as the Wild’s second line spends some nice time in the offensive zone, culminating in a blocked Nick Schultz shot that went out of play.

9:18 – Setoguchi tries a wraparound attempt, and Anderson gets the pad down and turns him away and the Wild can’t bounce on the rebound.

6:56 – Heatley picked a corner on Anderson and JUST missed. Minnesota is finally looking alive here with time winding down in the third.

5:08 – That’s the second time in two games that Setoguchi has almost done the splits trying to stay onside. Our former number 10 would have been out for the season after just one time.

4:33 – Good shot on net by Gillies. Anderson just makes a nice save there, robbing Gillies.

2:15 – Not sure how that didn’t go in! Gillies and Clutterbuck were alone in front of the net, Gillies dropped the puck to Clutter and Clutter just fanned on it.

48.9 – Koivu gets the puck in the offensive zone and just can’t get the puck on net as Kuba gets his stick in there. Minnesota’s got to start capitalizing on these mistakes.

00.0 – And we’re going to overtime for the first time this season. Minnesota had this all wrapped up and just took their foot off (sound familiar?

OT

5:00 – Will we get a winner? Let’s see!

3:25 – Stoner tries to repeat history, firing a shot at Brodziak. The only problem was that this time, Brodziak wasn’t watching.

2:56 – Latendresse is WAY offsides and we get a faceoff.

2:10 – Cullen JUST misses the net off of a rebound from a shot from Stoner. The Wild have got to start hitting the net on some of these chances!

00.0 – And we’re heading to a shootout!

Shootout

First shooter for Ottawa is Michalek…He puts a nice little shoulder dip, backhand and score past Backstrom.

First shooter for Wild is Koivu…Goes to the backhand and misses the net.

Second shooter for Ottawa is Spezza…Five hole and goal.

Second shooter for Wild is Cullen…Stickhandles and scores stick side.

Third shooter for Ottawa is Alfredsson…Five hole and goal. Game over.

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