Wild 2, Blue Jackets 0
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 12:48 AM
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
- Tonight’s up-tempo performance demonstrated exactly what we can expect to see from the Minnesota Wild this season. The Wild faced off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a fast-paced, physical game, coming out on top, 2-0.
The Blue Jackets’ early streak of penalties in the first period allowed for the Wild to take the first lead of the game, which they would never give up. At 18:46 in the first, the NHL’s hit leader from the previous season, Cal Clutterbuck
scored to put the Wild ahead,1-0, scoring on a five-on-three power play with assists coming from Brent Burns
and Antti Miettinen
Though the Wild jumped on the penalty bandwagon in the second period, they were resilient on the penalty kill. After a near miss on a short-handed break away from Colton Gillies
, the Wild maintained control in the Columbus zone, allowing for Clutterbuck’s second goal of the night. The goal came at 9:27 in the period, with beautiful cross-crease assist from Kyle Brodziak
and another from Eric Belanger.
Halfway through the period Josh Harding
, sporting his new helmet, stepped in for Niklas Backstrom
to complete the shutout.
The second period was prematurely ended when Columbus’s Jason Chimera took a hard hit into the boards and was taken of the ice on a stretcher. The refs decided that the remaining 6:17 would be played after an intermission, immediately followed by the third period.
Columbus came out hard in the third period, but it proved to be no contest for Minnesota's lead. The Wild’s defense was effective, allowing for Clutterbuck to persistently chase after the hat trick. He missed his chance at a third goal once by hitting the post on a rebound and again when the Columbus goalie made a spectacular glove save from an open shot in the slot.
“The guys around me were making some good plays,” Clutterbuck said. “I had a couple good chances. It is what it is. I think that third one is always the hardest one. You got to give the goalie credit. He made a good save. It’s just good to get those chances.”
The Wild continue pre-season action this Sunday, September 20th at Xcel Energy Center when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks. The puck drops at 5pm.