NHL: Wild beat Flames in OT
CALGARY, Alberta -- The Minnesota Wild almost blew it. Mikko Koivu came up with the overtime winner just in time to keep the Wild climbing back into the playoff picture. Koivu, the Wild captain and top center, buried a chance off an odd-man rush ...
CALGARY, Alberta - The Minnesota Wild almost blew it.
Mikko Koivu came up with the overtime winner just in time to keep the Wild climbing back into the playoff picture.
Koivu, the Wild captain and top center, buried a chance off an odd-man rush to make the difference in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night to push even closer to a playoff spot.
The Wild (29-21-7) are winners of nine of 11 games, pulling them within a single point of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference standings.
Minnesota salvaged what could have been a disappointing loss.
The Wild have been climbing closer to a playoff spot by scoring first and the Flames, even if they’re in a spot right now, have been guilty of falling behind early.
That trend continued for both teams when Minnesota right winger Justin Fontaine opened the scoring at the 8:40 mark by finishing the cross-ice pass from left winger Thomas Vanek during an odd-man rush before the Scotiabank Saddledome crowd.
The Wild edge doubled three minutes later when defenseman Matt Dumba - playing in his hometown for just the second time as a pro - beat Calgary goalie Jonas Hiller with a wrist shot that appeared to deflect off the stick of a defender en route.
But the Flames (32-22-4) are more than comfortable when trailing, and again pulled off a comeback.
First, right winger Jiri Hudler put the hosts on the board late in the opening frame when he deflected a high point shot - a goal which took a lengthy video review to stand up - and then left winger Lance Bouma tied the game midway through the third period.
Bouma finished a three-on-two rush with a top-shelf snipe past Wild netminder Devan Dubnyk. With that goal, the Flames outscored opponents 73-38 in the third period and lead the league with 10 wins collected when trailing after two periods.
Dubnyk made 35 saves for the win, while Hiller stopped 26 shots in the extra-time loss that has the Flames second in the Pacific Division.
Notes: Minnesota summoned LW Michael Keranen from its AHL affiliate in Iowa but he didn’t suit up. Keranen, who is second in scoring for the Wild’s farm team, was brought up in case LW Thomas Vanek couldn’t play. Vanek was OK to play despite the lower-body issue bothering him. ... The Flames went into the game without surrendering an opposing team a power-play goal in nine consecutive games, which tied a franchise record set in March 2004. ... The Wild went into the game with a perfect penalty kill in 10 consecutive games.
Minnesota 3, Calgary 2
Minnesota 2 0 0 1- 3
Calgary 1 0 1 0- 2
First Period-1, Minnesota, Fontaine 5 (Vanek, Coyle) 8:40. 2, Minnesota, Dumba 3 (Brodin, Dubnyk) 11:36. 3, Calgary, Hudler 19 (Wideman, Monahan) 17:08.
Third Period-4, Calgary, Bouma 11 (Wideman, Backlund) 10:14.
Overtime-5, Minnesota, Koivu 9 (Coyle, Scandella) 1:50.
Shots on Goal-Minnesota 11-7-10-1-29. Calgary 9-14-12-2-37.
Power-play opportunities-Minnesota 0 of 1. Calgary 0 of 3.
Goalies-Minnesota Dubnyk 20-7-3 (37 shots-35 saves). Calgary Hiller 19-16-3 (29-26).
A-19,277 (19,289). T-2:26.