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The Wild's Devin Setoguchi was mobbed by teammates after scoring the winning goal in overtime.

Bruce Bisping, Dml - Star Tribune

WILD 2, NASHVILLE 1 (OT) Up next: 8 p.m. Monday at Calgary • TV: FSN Plus

Overtime goal stops Wild's skid

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO
  • February 10, 2013 - 12:10 AM

 

It's no fun coming to the rink when you're losing. It's no fun when people are calling for every head, questioning every move, scrutinizing every player.

So the last 24 hours for the Wild has been all about lowering the temperature, clearing the mind, and having fun again.

Well, there's nothing more fun than an overtime winner, so it's only fitting that OT master Devin Setoguchi, one of the most maligned on this snakebit team, scored the big goal to lift the Wild to a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center.

The one-time 30-goal scorer was dropped to the fourth line the past two games. He had no goals this season.

So the weight lifted off his shoulders had to feel the same for a team that had lost three in a row.

"This is what we talked about -- clean slate," said coach Mike Yeo. "I don't care what happened the first 10 games. ... Let's hope this is the point where they start to take off."

In overtime, after linesman Ryan Galloway called Predators center Paul Gaustad for intentionally directing a puck with his hand on a faceoff (Nashville coach Barry Trotz called it a "poor call"), Setoguchi one-timed Mikko Koivu's pass past Chris Mason with 38 seconds left.

It was Setoguchi's fifth career overtime goal (second in the regular season).

"It feels nice," Setoguchi said. "Now I just got to keep doing the same things and getting those chances to score."

Setoguchi, coming off two quality games, had another solid one. He finished with five shots but had to watch stressfully from inside the penalty box as teammates killed off his "unlucky" four-minute high-sticking penalty in the third period.

Niklas Backstrom, in a great response to being pulled Thursday against Vancouver, made seven of his 25 saves during the sequence.

"Give it to our [penalty kill] and definitely Backy for holding us in there," Setoguchi said. "It's a long four minutes. It probably felt like 12 sitting in the penalty box."

The PK got another workout two minutes later when Tom Gilbert took a high-sticking minor. But the Wild killed off its sixth minor.

"We don't want to toot our own horns, but we didn't give up too much," said Kyle Brodziak, who played a team-high 5 minutes, 35 seconds on the penalty kill. "When we did, we always trust Backy's going to be there."

Added Nate Prosser, who was outstanding along with all the defensemen, "All the guys were up, banging their sticks, ready to go the next shift."

The Wild, which also got a tying goal from Cal Clutterbuck and two assists from Ryan Suter, did a tremendous job defensively against a Predators team that had won four in a row. Up until those penalty kills in the third, the Wild had allowed 13 shots.

"The result is going to be there when you play the right way," Backstrom said.

"That's how we have to play to win, especially when things aren't going in," added Suter, referring to the Wild's 23 goals in 11 games.

The Wild faced a lot of adversity in Saturday's game. But it never got frustrated, always stuck with it, Yeo said.

"Expectations are higher so the pressure higher," Brodziak said. "Tonight, it was a better overall job by everybody. You could just feel in the room, on the bench, guys were having more fun.

"We grew up playing the game. This is a game we all love. We're going to be better at it when we're having fun. We took a little bit of the edge off and just went out and played. I think that's something we can build off."

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