Before we get this recap underway, tonight’s game was played with very heavy hearts. The shooting that occured Thursday just outside of LA in Thousand Oaks along with the passing of a Wild great in Bob Naegele Jr, we here at Hockey Wilderness are with the families of both events. Sports offer an escape from the world around us. That’s what happened Thursday night. There was hockey to be played and that escape from the world we live in was there to be had.
I’ll give the Wild this. The first 4 or so minutes, they started off strong, but just after the 5 minute mark the Wild made Jake Muzzin look like Wayne Gretzky out there. He dangled through a couple of defenders and find the back of the night. Also, I’m sure if Devan Dubnyk could have this goal back, he most certainly would.
After that point, it was all Kings. Shots were 11-2 in favor of LA with 8 minutes left, and once again, Dubnyk came up big for the Wild by robbing Kopitar.
Minnesota got on the board and the bad luck finally ended for Nino Niederreiter. Scoring on the power-play with just under 6 minutes left in the first, it is his 1st goal since March 24th, and first in 28 games including the playoffs.
After 20 minutes of play at Staples it was tied at 1. Shots were 14-11 in favor of LA, but after that 8 minute mark, shots were 9-3 in favor of the Wild.
The 2nd was very quiet until the Wild nabbed the lead with 5:18 left in the period. It was a milestone point for Zach Parise. Parise became the 5th Minnesotan and 32nd American to reach the 700 point mark with his 2nd period goal.
Other than the Parise goal late in the 2nd, that was all that happened in the middle frame and the Wild headed into the 3rd with a 2-1 lead. Shots were 22-16 in favor of the Kings.
Once again, another period full of nothing really happening. Both goalies stood their ground and kept it a 2-1 game. However, things got exciting with under 2 minutes to play. The Kings got a power-play, and immediately pulled their goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage. That was until Grandlund found Koivu for the short-handed tally to cinch the Wild a 3-1 victory, their 8th in the last 10 games. Shots ended up being 28-24 in favor of LA, but that didn’t matter as the Wild came out victorious.
The Wild moved to 3-2 on their 7 game road trip and will go for win number 4 tonight against Anaheim. The Wild also moved to 7-3-1 on the year when the opposing team scores first. The Wild slide into 2nd place in the Central, 4 points behind Central leading, and Western Conference leading Nashville.