Wild rebound with strong win over Stars
It’s going to be a short one tonight because, frankly, it’s late and I’m tired.
The Wild responded against the Dallas Stars and responded in a big way. They fell behind in the first period, after being outshot 11-5 (but not being outplayed) when Eric Nystrom repaid the Wild’s “betrayal” by putting the Stars up 1-0.
If we’ve learned anything about the Wild over this last stretch of games, it’s that when the going gets tough, they fold, right?
Not this time.
Minnesota fought back, this time, and Devin Setoguchi potted a power-play goal to tie the game.
The Wild continued to play good hockey but, again, the Stars got the upper hand with Phillip Larson scoring to put them up 2-1. After that, Darroll Powe manned up and answered the bell against Steve Ott, and everything changed.
Just over two minutes over that fight, Cal Clutterbuck potted his 12th goal of the season after a Dallas turnover and a missed check then, not even 20 seconds after that, Chad Rau scored his first NHL goal, banking the puck off of Brendan Morrow’s stick and past Kari Lehtonen and 59 seconds after Clutterbuck scored, Kyle Brodziak fired a one-timer past Lehtonen to put the Wild up 4-2 and they never looked back.
Dany Heatley capped it off in the third with a goal for his first three-point night since November 2010 and the Wild, all of a sudden, look like they remembered how they got to the top of the standings in the first place.
- The entire defensive unit looked cohesive, once again. In fact, they looked better than they’ve looked in weeks. I don’t want to point my finger and say it was Zidlicky but, after the best defensive performance that the Wild have had in the past few weeks, it’s going to be hard to put him back in the line up. Stoner and Falk were both beasts, Prosser got an assist in his first game back with the team, Spurgeon played out of his mind, Schultz and Zanon were steady again. No one played their way out of the line up, so I don’t see number three coming back in.
- Heatley played, in my opinion, his best game in a Wild uniform. A goal, two assists, three shots and, most of all, he wasn’t a liability and he was noticeable when he was on the ice. All of this after getting bumped down to the second line and playing with a couple of grinders in Brodziak and Johnson.
- Harding looked sharp and, despite Backstrom’s record against the Avs, I don’t see Harding leaving the net after this one. No way Yeo changes anything after this one.
1) Dany Heatley – A goal, two assists and, best of all, he wasn’t invisible.
2) Chad Rau – Scored his first NHL goal.
3) Justin Falk – Could be that he was the Wild’s best defenseman on Friday. He was physical, played great defense and had a great bounce back game after being scratched in Toronto.