Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Wild 3, Los Angeles Kings 2

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild game coverage Updated: March 30, 2010 - 12:06 AM

How gutsy was Greg Zanon tonight? Let the Twitter world tell you. Here's a sample:

@ Yokezilla: Greg Zanon is made of steel and magic. No other reason he can block all these shots.

@ dhbrownsports: @Russostrib What pain killers Zanon use?!

@ howler555: @Russostrib I'm confident Zanons intense inhuman pain resistance comes from his beard which most likely sparks when he shaves.

@TheCastigator: @Russostrib Wild take a time out to let Zanon's liquid metal frame reform.

@richjdeke: @russostrib: Zanon is just wrong.

@wildmn34: @Russostrib Chuck Norris fears Zanon

He was good tonight. As we know he's playing with a broken ankle, but he was smoked by six shots -- three that I remember from Jarret Stoll, two a full 2-minute 5-on-3 disadvantage and one in the second period in the, well, place men don't want to be hit by vulcanized rubber traveling at 90 mph.

Zanon, in a very squeaky voice after the game, said, "Good thing I have kids already ... "

He wasn't the only one. First, the entire 3-on-5 was obscene as Mikko Koivu, whom Brent Burns called the "general," out there and Burns and goalie Niklas Backstrom spent two minutes in the zone.  The trio blocked three shots, and Backstrom made three saves. Dustin Brown also got handcuffed twice at the far post on potential goals into an empty side of the net.

Burns played one of his best games of the season. Played a season-high 27:45, scored a highlight-reel goal, moved the puck out of trouble, was solid defensively and was a typical good quote after the game.

Martin Havlat scored a howitzer game-winner on the power play, and had a funny line afterward about why he let her rip.

Koivu, besides the great job on the PK, had a couple of helpers for career-high assists (48) and points (68).

Cut this out of the gamer, but ... Owen Nolan got things started 1:19 into the second period with his 155th career power-play goal – a back-hander through Jon Quick’s legs – to tie Nolan with Hall of Famer Jari Kurri for 34th all-time and fifth among active players. Nolan also tied Peter Forsberg for 98th all-time with 885 points in 1,197 games.

Then Burns made it 2-0, the Wild got into penalty trouble, killed the bad boys but then didn't have a shot in a 10-minute span. Scott Parse scored twice, the last 1:25 into the 3rd, to tie things up and give me a coronary. The first one deflected off Casey Wellman's stick for his first NHL goal into the wrong net.

Wellman didn't play again, but it was more a product (I'm assuming because I didn't make it to Todd Richards' presser because of my deadline) of a tight game and Richards going down to three lines.

Damaging loss to the KIngs, who continues to slide the wrong way into the postseason. They were so good early in the year.

That's it from here. I did cut this Harding thing out of the notes, but the bigger notebook might stay online (Nate Prosser didn't play, by the way). If not:

In the first minute of the second period Friday in Detroit, Harding had trouble getting up after a scramble. He skated to referee Dan O’Rourke to see if he could be attended to by medical trainer Don Fuller.
“I just wanted some Flexall (topical gel pain reliever) because it tightened up sitting there during the intermission,” Harding said. “[O’Rourke] just said, ‘No. Then [Richards] would have to put [Niklas Backstrom] in.’ So I just went back into my net and shut up.”
Harding gave up four goals in the next 11 minutes and pulled himself after the second.
OK, I'm outta here. Talk to you after Tuesday's practice.

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