The Wild, which took the gamble of having no extra healthy players on the roster, wound up in a pickle shortly before gametime when Antti Miettinen left the ice minutes into warmup with what the team's calling flu-like symptoms.
That meant the Wild had to play with 17 skaters (11 forwards), or one player short.
The Wild, playing without Havlat, Sykora, Burns, Bouchard, Miettinen and Latendresse, worked valiantly but just couldn't finish despite outshooting Boston 29-16. Tuuka Rask was outstanding, and the Wild missed a couple loose pucks with open nets in front (Andrew Brunette couldn't reach a loose puck on his backhand late in overtime was the most memorable).
In the shootout, Patrice Bergeron and Mikko Koivu exchanged Round 1 goals, and then David Krejci won it in Round 4. In between, Marek Zidlicky, Eric Belanger and Chuck Kobasew, who's 0 for 9 lifetime in shootouts, missed. The Wild, minus shootout guys Miettinen and Sykora, especially, fell to 1-3 in extra extra time.
Like I said, defensively, the Wild was outstanding tonight minus a couple first-period shifts in which Boston pinned Minnesota in its own end. The Wild's forwards did a great shot backchecking, the defensemen did a great job getting the puck out, and the Wild blocked 23 shots.
Andrew Ebbett, whose entire life is in storage in Chicago because he was claimed off waivers while the Hawks were on the road, scored in his Wild debut. He looked great, after the first 10 minutes, which is understandable considering he hadn't played since Nov. 13.
The Wild will practice Thursday, so we'll find out about Martin Havlat and Antti Miettinen's status. Guillaume Latendresse's work visa was approved, FedExed, and he's scheduled to arrive Thursday afternoon.
However, he hasn't skated with the Canadiens since Monday. I don't know where he's at, but with no practice Thursday and no morning skate before Friday's afternoon game vs. Colorado, it's unknown right now whether he'll be able to play vs. the Avalanche on Friday.
Of course, the Wild's in a bit of a jam, so the team may beg If Havlat or Miettinen can't go, the Wild may again have to look at Houston.
Cool moment pregame, but during Joe Mauer's ceremonial puck drop, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara let local boy Blake Wheeler take the draw. Wheeler had a suite at the game, by the way, for lots of family and friends. Also, Justin Morneau did the "Let's Play Hockey" to perfection. After I tried to jinx him in the elevator before the game by telling him not to pull a Gov. Pawlenty or Adrian Peterson -- both infamous Let's Play Hockey's -- Morneau made sure to read the words straight from the Q Card.
-- Wild had $17.36 million worth of players on the shelf tonight.
-- James Sheppard had an assist for the second straight game, his first point streak on the year.
-- Shane Hnidy is expected to play his 500th game Friday.
-- Nine of the Wild's 10 home games have been decided by one goal (Wild's 6-2-1 in those instances).
-- Wild is 8-1-1 all-time vs. the Bruins.
-- Wild is 5-1-3 vs. the East.
-- Wild is 1-3 in shootouts. Mikko Koivu is 2-for-4. The rest of the team? 0-for-8!!!
-- Milan Lucic injured his knee in the third period after a collision with Marek Zidlicky.
-- Cal Clutterbuck appeared OK after being cross-checked and slashed in the face by Dennis Wideman.
-- Happy Thanksgiving. I'll update the blog some time after Thursday's practice. Enjoy your turkey.