Wild wins 3-1 in Edmonton; Clutterbuck hurt

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 22, 2013 - 3:25 PM

The excitement over the team's rare road victory in regulation was tempered by a possibly severe injury to Cal Clutterbuck, who was hit late by Taylor Hall.

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Minnesota Wild's Matt Cullen and Kyle Brodziak celebrate Cullen's second goal on the Edmonton Oilers.

Photo: Jason Franson, Associated Press

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EDMONTON, ALBERTA - The Wild experienced something it hadn't in more than a calendar year Thursday night -- a regulation road victory.

Believe it or not, for the first time in 20 road games and third time in 33 road games, the Wild grabbed two points and surrendered none in a 60-minute hockey game away from Xcel Energy Center.

Matt Cullen scored two goals and one assist and Devin Setoguchi scored the winner as the Wild rallied for a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.

The Wild, however, might have suffered a serious injury with 2:33 left in the game. Cal Clutterbuck was hurt when Taylor Hall extended his left leg into Clutterbuck's left leg as he was flying by at center ice.

Clutterbuck was down on the ice for several minutes in clear agony. Unable to put any weight on his left leg, he was helped off and put onto a stretcher in the Zamboni entrance and wheeled to the Oilers' medical room. Hall was assessed a five-minute major for kneeing.

"First thing I did was ask the refs if it was dirty. They said yes," center Kyle Brodziak said. "We just hope [Clutterbuck's] all right."

Hall has an NHL disciplinary  hearing scheduled Friday afternoon after which he could be suspended.

Yeo said of Hall, the 2010 first overall pick who also broke Jonas Brodin's clavicle in the minors in November: "What I saw was a player that didn't even look at the puck and looked like he was trying to hurt a guy."

Yeo would only say Clutterbuck, who was seen with ice and a bandage above the left knee, is "hurt."

Niklas Backstrom improved to 23-3-1 all-time vs. the Oilers with 27 saves in Minnesota's first regulation road victory since Feb. 2, 2012. The Wild improved to 4-1-1 in its past six overall heading into Saturday night's game in Calgary.

"To me, it feels like our game is coming," coach Mike Yeo said.

After a three-shot first period, the Wild fell behind on Ryan Smyth's 20th career goal against the Wild. Still, at that point, the Wild began to generate chances during a second period that it outshot Edmonton 16-10.

Cullen answered 2 1/2 minutes later when he made something out of nothing. After Ryan Suter's headman pass deflected off an Oilers defender into the zone, the speedy Cullen hit his jets, caught up to the puck and sped past flat-footed Mark Fistric to essentially create a partial breakaway.

Cullen tucked home his first of two goals with a backhand underneath Devan Dubnyk.

Early in the third, mere moments after Cullen hit the Wild's third post of the game, Ales Hemsky turned the puck over and Cullen set up Setoguchi at the goalmouth with a pretty dish. Cullen would later snipe a beauty for his first two-goal game since Nov. 3, 2011, and first three-point night since Dec. 4, 2011.

He passed up a shot at the hat trick by passing to Zach Parise with an empty net.

"Our whole line, we were moving it," Setoguchi said of the line that includes Jason Zucker. "We're good when we skate. We got a fast line and it's nice to see Cully get a couple.

"He should have had the [hat trick]. I don't know why he was passing at the end of the game to Zach. I said, 'You've got to take that all the time.'"

Yeo was happy with the "team effort all around."

"As much as anything else, we stayed with our game," he said. "The first period was not real pretty. The way their defense skate forwards and come at you ... if you keep executing and get pucks behind them, eventually we knew that we'd catch them."

Said Cullen, referring to the Wild's second consecutive come-from-behind victory: "It's a big deal for us, but more importantly, I think it's responding to a little bit of adversity and coming back with a little bit of fight."

  • WILD 3, EDMONTON 1 • Up next: 9 p.m. Saturday at Calgary • TV: FSN (100.3-FM)

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