OK, here is my gamer and notebook from the Wild's 4-2 against Nashville on Friday at Xcel Energy Center. I will do my best with this postgame blog, but I drank a LOT of coffee and combined with the deadline adrenaline and the fact that it is *so* cold, my hands are legit shaking.
Let's talk a bit about Devan Dubnyk, huh? The No. 1 goalie has been out since the second period of the Calgary game Dec. 12. But in his first playing time in seven games and two periods, he posted a 41-save game, his third such game this season.
However, he did let P.K. Subban's shot trickle past him for Nashville's first score.
"After the first goal, you could have thought, ‘First game back, oh my god, how rusty is he?’" coach Bruce Boudreau said. "But he made some really good saves. It was really good that they had a lot of long shots so he could get the feel of it back again. That was great. But he stood tall. He did a great job.”
Nashville didn't actually record its first shot of the game until about seven minutes into the period. While Dubnyk saved that, Subban's shot came shortly after that.
"I was excited to play, and there were a little bit of nerves but not really," Dubnyk said. "I was happy where I was mentally. When you stand around for eight minutes of the game and watch the guys go to work, you know it's one of those things I kind of prepared myself for. You can't force the first couple shots. You’ve just got to let them come. And obviously, I want the first goal back. But the guys got me me back right away so I got to start over."
Dubnyk's second period, though, was pretty stellar. Nashville upped its game, and the goalie saved all 18 shots.
"I mean, it's nice to get some looks," Dubnyk said. "Obviously, you knew they were going to come. That’s a good team, and we did a good job defending and working hard in front of the net when there were pucks laying around. And that gives me an opportunity to make that many saves."
All right, y'all, I'm going to tap out for now. Sarah is back on for the finale of the back-to-back, home-and-home series at Nashville at 7 p.m. Saturday (tomorrow). But I will return to the Wild beat like, numerous times in the next month, so don't miss me too bad.
Also, please make my Pecorino Romano nickname for Pekka Rinne catch on, I want this to be my NHL legacy.