Howdy, State of Hockey Legion.
The Wild is skating for its first road win, tonight in the Arch City to take on the St. Louis String Benders, also known as the Blues. We’re high above the ice in Dan Kelly Memorial Press Box to bring you the period recaps. Head over to @mnwildLIVE for in-game commentary and updates.
Today, the Wild rearranged its blue line by recalling Marco Scandella from the Houston Aeros, the club’s American Hockey League affiliate. He’ll be paired with Jonas Brodin, who also was his D-partner at the beginning of the season in Houston.
To make room for Scandella’s arrival, Minnesota reassigned Mathew Dumba to his junior team, the Red Deer Rebels in the Western Hockey League. The 18-year-old expected this day to come, and although a little disappointed he didn’t get into an NHL game, will use the training camp and subsequent week as a learning experience. Trust me Wild fans, we’ll be hearing from that kid again.
The Wild also will shift its forward lines. Pierre-Marc Bouchard moves up to the second line with Mikael Granlund and Devin Setoguchi, while Matt Cullen will be on the wing with Kyle Brodziak and Cal Clutterbuck.
In goal, Niklas Backstrom is set to make a big effort and backstop his team into the win column.
Minnesota is rocking its road whites with Wild head logo, while St. Louis wears its home, flying blue note sweater.
It’s go time!
Period 1 - MIN 0, STL 1
In the first 10 minutes the Wild had several good scoring chances, many generated by the newly formed Matt Cullen, Kyle Brodziak and Cal Clutterbuck line. Jonas Brodin blasts a one-timer that is tipped by Cullen and hits the post. Cullen is on the doorstep but couldn’t convert.
The Blues were the first to strike, as Wade Redden, yes, that Wade Redden scores on a one-timer from the top of the left circle. Dave Backes cut behind the net and found Redden sneaking in from the point and he put it high over the glove of Backstrom. Alex Pietrangelo picked up the second assist on the play.
The Wild created a lot of scoring chances, outshooting the Blues 8-7, in that first period and are going to start converting in the second. I can feel it.
Period 2 - MIN 3, STL 2
That was an exciting period with the Wild scoring three straight before the Blues answering with a goal. Parise got things going for the Wild on the power play, banking a sharp angle shot past Elliott. Assists went to Tom Gilbert and Dany Heatley.
The Wild forward then doubled his output, with a beautifully patient move. The play started with Heatley controlling the puck in the corner and finding Koivu, who made a sneaky pass to a cutting Parise. Parise was alone with Elliot in front of the net, faked a shot and shifted around to his forehand and jammed it into the yawning goal.
There was a little controversy on the Wild’s third goal, as play went on for a while, even when Koivu ripped a shot past Elliott. The Wild captain took a drop pass from Parise and put the puck off the back bar. Puck came out so fast and clean, play continued till the NHL War Room made the call.
The Blues answered with a goal from Patrik Berglund. After some nifty stick handling by David Perron, he found Berglund on the backdoor and fired it past an outstretched Backstrom. The Wild has 20 minutes for its first road win.
Period 3 - MIN 4, STL 4
The Blues had a number of power play chances and finally capitalized as Chis Stewart tipped a Pietrangelo point shot past Backstrom. Shattenkirk added an assist on the play.
St. Louis then jumped out to a lead on a point slapper from Barret Jackman. Vladimir Tarasenko and Shattenkirk set up the play.
Things took a Wild bounce late in the third period, as Heatley did his best Stan Musial imitation and banged home the puck out of midair. Camped out front, the puck sailed high after hitting Elliott and Heatley timed it perfectly, knocking it in just under the crossbar. Cullen and Suter assisted on the goal.
Well that was lame. Vladimir Sobotka chips a puck over Backstrom for the OT winner. McDonald and Polak get the assists.
Wild will be back at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday to play the Columbus Blue Jackets.
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