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  • The Wild go all the way to 11; continue their winning streak with OT victory over Nashville.


    Coming out of the holiday break can be a struggle for any team in any league. The Wild are no different, but they would look to extend their winning streak to 11 games on the road against the Nashville Predators. It would go into extra time, but the Wild would battle through some adversary in the middle period to emerge victorious against Nashville.

    The Wild came out playing extremely well in the first period. Mikael Granlund was noticeably playing like a fire had been lit under him as Mikko Koivu and Jason Zucker continued to gel on their line together. The Wild held the Predators to just 5 shots on goal in the first period, and played well in all areas of the ice. Finding the net proved a bit more difficult with Pekka Rinne looking sharp early, but the Wild would find the twine in the opening frame.

    The Wild would kill a high sticking penalty very early in the period when Nino Niederreiter tried to lift Matt Irwin’s stick but caught him up high instead. After killing off the Nino penalty, the Wild would then gain 3-consecutive power play opportunities but only capitalize on the first opportunity when Zach Parise tipped a Matt Dumba shot past Rinne.

    With just 10 seconds remaining in the Wild’s first power play, Matt Dumba would shuffle a bit across the blue line to find an angle. He drove one hard on net and Zach Parise would get his stick on the puck to deflect it past Rinne. A heck of a rip by Dumba, and even more impressive was Parise’s ability to get his stick on the puck moving at break-neck speed.

    The 2nd period brought with it some very sluggish play from the Wild, and Nashville would take advantage of the Wild’s defensive lapses, pecking away at the Wild’s shot lead, as well as the score. Jordan Schroeder would start to emerge in the middle period. He was skating hard and fighting to keep his name on Bruce Boudreau’s lineup card. I think it worked, but we’ll get to that in a bit!

    Nashville would tie it up when Fillip Forsberg would find a little space in the slot and with a quick release was able to get one past Devan Dubnyk. The Wild would strike back fairly quickly. Chris Stewart made a heck of a dive to push a puck through the neutral up to Jordan Schroeder. Schroeder would pass off to Eric Staal who returned a pass to Stewart who came in late on the rush but was left unguarded in the slot to put one past Rinne.

    I love this play folks. Watch it below. Pay close attention right as the video starts to see the big effort play from Stewart to make this whole sequence possible.

    Video courtesy of nhl.com

    Reid Boucher would tie the game back up just under 3 minutes later when he found himself on a rush with Jared Spurgeon in hot pursuit. Spurgeon tried on the back check but could not dislodge Boucher from the puck. Boucher found a place under Dubnyk and the puck trickled into the net.

    The 3rd period played out without any scoring despite both teams finding good scoring chances. The period was ruled by solid netminding from Dubnyk and Rinne. The Wild would finish the frame on a flurry after Charlie Coyle drew a high sticking penalty late in the 3rd. A few scrambles in front of Rinne would not find there way past the veteran goalie and we would find ourselves going to overtime.

    As with most 3 on 3 overtime sessions, this would be some back and forth hockey as each team to their shots to win the game. It would take a couple of unsung heroes to end this one. Charlie Coyle would feed the puck up the ice to Schroeder who was streaking up the right wing. Shredder drew both of Nashville’s defenders and right as he fired the puck across the ice to a wide open Jared Spurgeon. Tank loaded up and fired one home to extend the Wild’s streak to 11 consecutive victories. 11 victories guys and gals! 11!!!!

    Video courtesy on nhl.com

    It’s an impressive streak, if you’re not paying attention to the Columbus Blue Jackets who extended their winning streak to 13 games tonight against the Boston Bruins. Hell, it’s impressive even with the Jackets firing it up too! The NHL Schedule makers are salivating right now in hopes that both these teams can keep their streaks alive heading into their clash on New Years Eve. If that happens, the Wild will have 12 wins in a row and the Jackets will have 14 in a row.

    Next up for your Wild, they Wild welcome the New York Islanders to the X. The Islanders are not having a great season, but the Wild cannot sleep on these guys. They have the talent to be dangerous when they want to. If the Wild want to keep the dream alive for what would be one of the most hyped regular season games in franchise history, they need to take the Islanders seriously.

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