Koivu enjoying a dominating stretch

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 31, 2013 - 12:11 AM

Wild captain Mikko Koivu had two more assists Saturday to give him a team-leading 33 points in 34 games and 19 points in the past 14.

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The Wild won in a shootout scoring on all three attempts Saturday. Mikko Koivu watched his shot fly past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

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During the second intermission of Wednesday’s home game against the Phoenix Coyotes, captain Mikko Koivu made something clear to coach Mike Yeo.

“In no uncertain terms, he basically said [his line was] going ‘to take over this game,’ ” Yeo said. “When that happens, you let them go ahead and do it.”

The Koivu line, book-ended by Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle, responded by helping set up Ryan Suter’s last-minute tying goal before Koivu, almost with pure will, scored his third career overtime winner to cap a near-24-minute night.

Koivu was again dominant in Saturday’s 4-3 shootout win over Los Angeles. He had two more assists to give him a team-leading 33 points in 34 games and 19 points in the past 14. He is plus-11 in the past 11 games.

In terms of a complete game, Koivu arguably has never played better.

“I think he is playing like a superstar right now,” Yeo said before the game.

Yeo talked about Koivu’s scoring, and then said, “Add on top of that everything else he does, all the other parts of his game, I think he’s playing like an absolute superstar right now.

“He’s just doing everything he can to help our team win. Every shift and every night, it could be something different, whether it’s penalty kill, defensively or offensively,” Yeo said.

“And most nights it’s a combination of all of them.”

 

Clark gets in

It had been 18 days since veteran defenseman Brett Clark signed with the Wild, but Saturday night, the 36-year-old made his long-anticipated Wild debut.

“I had a blast out there,” he said.

Clark has played 682 games for four teams. After he was signed to add depth, the Wild won seven in a row, so Yeo was hesitant to mess with a winning lineup.

But Clark had a strong game Saturday.

“As the game went on, he got stronger,” Yeo said. “You could really see what he can add — his poise, his execution … I was very impressed.”

Justin Falk was a healthy scratch for the first time since March 3.

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