Just call him Mr. Overtime.
For the second game in less than a week that went to 3-on-3 overtime, Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba scored the game-winning goal.
Dumba scored with 1:17 remaining in overtime Friday to give the Wild (14-11-3) a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks (12-11-7). It was his fourth career overtime game-winning goal.
“It all happened pretty quick,” Dumba said. “I’m just happy we got the win.”
After some cautious play in overtime on both sides as they controlled the puck, the Wild got a couple chances. Charlie Coyle made the pass over to Dumba, who proceeded to skate right to the front of the net and in front of the Anaheim defenders. He got Duck's goaltender John Gibson to commit and then slid the puck into the net.
“I think he likes overtime,” Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He’s such a good skater, and he gets to roam a bit. It works out well for him.”
Earlier in the same shift, Dumba accepted a pass from Jason Zucker and fired the puck wide. It was just the latest “sigh” moment in a game where the Wild repeatedly found ways to shoot pucks away from the net. Mikko Koivu missed the net at least four times alone. In related news, Koivu is still without a goal, bringing his scoreless streak to 19 games.
Boudreau started out the overtime with two defensemen and one forward as he did in their last overtime victory. Dumba also had the game-winning goal in the 2-1 home victory against the St. Louis Blues last weekend.
The important thing for the Wild was they got the victory and didn’t let a 2-1 lead after two periods turn into a disaster as they did against Los Angeles earlier this week. Instead of giving up four straight goals, the Wild held their ground for the most part.
“I thought the reaction was so much different [than the Kings game],” Boudreau said. “I think we pressured them for the rest of the game.”
Sure, they surrendered the tying goal to Adam Henrique with 6:25 left in the third period. But the small victory is that the Wild stopped the bleeding and only allowed the two goals. That’s a big deal for a team that’s given up four or more goals way too often this season.
Had the Wild lost, the story would have been about all the chances they failed to put in the back of the net – or even hit the net. Very early on in the game, Nino Niederreiter had an open net for a target but shot the puck off the post instead. Eric Staal had a chance and put the puck into the goaltender along the ice. Tyler Ennis and Chris Stewart had a 2-on-1 opportunity.
Shots that went wide seemed to be the norm.
On top of all that, the Wild were down 1-0 after the first period on Kevin Roy’s fourth goal of the season just after a Ducks power play expired.
The Wild took their 2-1 lead in a matter of 2:09 in the second period with a tally from their leading scorer and one from the fourth line. Mikael Granlund guided the puck into the zone and over to Zucker’s stick for a backhand goal, his 14th of the season.
Then it was Zack Mitchell’s turn for the go-ahead goal as he went to the front of the net and pounded home a rebound for his third goal of the season. Assists went to Nate Prosser, his first point of the season, and Daniel Winnik.
“It’s great to help out offensively,” Mitchell said.
Devan Dubnyk (12-8-2) with 26 saves. Gibson with (8-10-3) 28 saves.
Dumba spent a career-high 30:04 on the ice, fired off six shots (tied for second-most in his career), blocked five shots (tied for the most in his career) and recorded four hits (tied for second-most in his career).
The Wild went 0-for-2 on the power play and had a perfect 0-for-3 penalty kill.
Winnik has seven assists this season and four in the last six games.
Zucker had a two-point night with the second assist on Dumba’s goal. He therefore retakes the team points lead from Staal as he now has 24 (14 goals, 10 assists). He also has points in seven of his last eight games.
With his assist on the game-winner, Coyle extends his points streak to six games (2-4—6).
In his first game back with the big club, Joel Eriksson Ek recorded a team-high six hits in the game and took an embellishment penalty.
The California road swing wraps up Sunday with a game against former Wild player Brent Burns and the San Jose Sharks.