Wild dominates Detroit for fourth win in a row

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 20, 2013 - 9:14 PM

Blazing-hot Devin Setoguchi scored two goals as Minnesota went 3-for-3 on the road.

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Minnesota Wild center Matt Cullen (7) manages to clear the puck against Detroit Red Wings center Valtteri Filppula (51), of Finland, during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Detroit.

Photo: Duane Burleson, Associated Press - Ap

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DETROIT – If the Wild’s not careful, it’s going to start making believers out of everyone.

Joe Louis Arena hasn’t been kind to the Wild over the years. It had won six times here in history, outscored 90-50 in 23 games, outshot 852-500.

Heck, it hadn’t won in regulation along the Detroit River in 13 games.

But Wednesday night, in front of a national television audience, the Northwest Division-leading Wild easily knocked off the Red Wings, 4-2, for an oh-so convincing 3-for-3 road sweep.

It was the Wild’s fourth consecutive win overall and ninth in 12 games as Minnesota continues to march up the standings with the hope of ending its four-year playoff drought.

After Niklas Backstrom supplied a 17-for-17 backbone in the first period, the Wild erupted in a three-goal second period. Blazing-hot Devin Setoguchi scored his second of the game and Mikko Koivu and Kyle Brodziak each scored goals. Pierre-Marc Bouchard also assisted on two goals in the game for his third consecutive multi-point outing.

After not scoring a goal in his first 10 games, Setoguchi now has 11 in the past 19 to share the goal-scoring lead with Zach Parise. Trade rumors that engulfed him earlier in the year have disappeared.

Setoguchi has goals in four of the past five games, a five-game point streak and 18 points in the past 19 games.

Backstrom, starting his ninth consecutive start and 13th in 14 games, made a season-high 36 saves to improve to 12-3-1 in his past 16 starts. He tied Montreal’s Carey Price for second in the NHL with 15 wins.

The Wild, 13-5-1 in its past 19 games, won for the fourth time in 14 games in Detroit. But it was the first time in regulation since Jan. 3, 2006.

For the eighth time in nine games, the Wild scored first, and who else got it done but the Setoguchi-Matt Cullen tandem. It started back in the Wild end when Henrik Zetterberg uncharacteristically coughed it up to Cullen.

What’s made the Wild’s so-called second line click for so long is the fact that everybody on the line can skate. Cullen can motor. Setoguchi is a bull. Bouchard, who replaced speedy Jason Zucker when the rookie was injured, can keep pace.

So Cullen got the quick transition started, and a bad gap by a Red Wings’ defender followed by two good wall plays by Bouchard and Setoguchi ended with Cullen feeding Setoguchi in the slot for a 1-0 lead.

Five minutes later, there was a close call when the Red Wings thought they tied the score on Jordin Tootoo’s goal. But referee Dave Jackson emphatically waved it off, saying Drew Miller hit the puck with a high stick first. It was unclear whether it hit Dany Heatley’s fingers afterward (which would have negated the high stick).

Regardless, the Wild kept its 1-0 lead, then later killed its second power play of the period behind Backstrom’s sharp play. The Wild was outshot 17-5 in the period, but Backstrom was spotless.

It was all Minnesota in the second starting with Niklas Kronwall catching rookie Charlie Coyle with his head down. Kronwall was given four minutes for high-sticking, but it looked more like a check to the head that may be subject to league discipline.

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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 89 4th Qtr 8:52
Charlotte 98
New York 30 2nd Qtr 3:49
Chicago 47
Golden State 16 1st Qtr 5:51
Milwaukee 16
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:00 PM
Portland
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 3rd Prd
Carolina 1
Florida 2 3rd Prd
Montreal 2
Ottawa 2 3rd Prd
Toronto 0
Los Angeles 0 2nd Prd
Minnesota 2
Columbus 1 2nd Prd
St. Louis 0
Buffalo 8:00 PM
Colorado
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 48 2nd Half 12:34
NJIT 48
Notre Dame 2 1st Half 17:05
Kentucky 2
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 2nd Half 7:00
D.C. 0
Sporting Kansas City 1 2nd Half 6:00
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 1 2nd Half 40:00
Columbus 0
Portland 0 1st Half 7:00
Vancouver FC 1
Colorado 0 1st Half 30:00
Houston 0
Seattle 0 1st Half 30:00
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 61 2nd Half 2:40
(6) Tennessee 56

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