Perfect shootout gives Wild a win over defending Cup champs

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 31, 2013 - 12:16 AM

Overcoming a late two-goal deficit set the table for a slick 3-for-3 shootout round that put away the Kings.

 

The Wild got that strut in its step back Saturday night.

Twenty-four hours after seeing its seven-game winning streak end in Dallas, the Wild fought back from two goals down and then went 3-for-3 in a silky-smooth shootout to knock off the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings 4-3.

Zach Parise, who forced an exciting, no-whistle overtime with a third-period power-play goal, scored in the shootout, as did Mikko Koivu and Matt Cullen. The Wild reclaimed the top spot in the Northwest Division.

“It was a good rebound for us after [Friday]. Down 3-1 to the Cup champs, … we found a way,” said Parise, who was on the losing end to the Cup champs in June with New Jersey.

In front of a 13th consecutive sold-out Xcel Energy Center, the Wild improved to 9-1-1 in its past 11 at home after a 1-1 tie became a 3-1 deficit after second-period goals from Jeff Carter and Justin Williams.

But the turning point came 2½ minutes after Williams’ breakaway goal. A suffocating forecheck by the Parise-Koivu-Charlie Coyle line ended with the rookie Coyle scoring from his knees, trimming the Kings’ lead to 3-2.

“For our line, that was big to get some momentum and to get some feeling with the puck,” Koivu said. “It was probably our first shift in the whole game where we went back and forth and got some time in their zone and around their net.”

In the third, Jordan Nolan and Jarret Stoll took penalties 1:02 apart. That gave the Wild a 58-second 5-on-3, but the Wild couldn’t get set up, let alone get a semblance of a shot.

But soon after the first minor expired, Koivu fed Parise for his team-leading 15th goal and team-leading sixth on the power play.

“Goal’s a goal,” Parise said, smiling. “We had trouble setting it up and getting it in. Finally when we did, even though that one did expire, we had some good looks.”

Ryan Suter also assisted on the goal and now is tied with injured Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang for first in the NHL with 25 assists and 28 points.

Cullen also scored for the Wild in the first period. After Cullen’s shootout goal, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP last year, angrily sawed his stick in half across the goal post.

Koivu, who scored a sick shootout goal, had two assists and Niklas Backstrom made 28 saves in snatching his league-leading 19th win in 27 games. That matches his total last year in 46 games.

Backstrom also has won a career-high eight consecutive games and improved to 4-1 in shootouts — quite the feat for a goalie who was once statistically the worst shootout goalie in the NHL.

The victory came one day after the Wild left Backstrom, who had started 12 consecutive games and 16 of 17, back in Minnesota to rest. He skated Friday with former Wild players-turned-executives Andrew Brunette and Brad Bombardir.

“I don’t know if you can call that a rest,” Backstrom joked. “It was relaxing. On the other hand, the coaches give you a day off, you have to come back and step up.”

  • related content

  • Koivu enjoying a dominating stretch

    Sunday March 31, 2013

    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.

  • Postgame: Wild rebounds from Friday's loss

    Saturday March 30, 2013

    The Wild rallied from a 2-goal deficit before going 3 for 3 in the shootout to beat the Kings

  • Game recap: Wild over Los Angeles

    Sunday March 31, 2013

    Game RECAPSTAr tribune’s three stars1. Mikko Koivu, Wild: Extended point streak to seven games with two assists and scored in...

  • Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings. (MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE(mle...

  • Zenon Konopka (28) had a bear hug waiting for Matt Cullen after he scored the third and clinching goal in a shootout victory over the Kings.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis - WP: L. Lynn 4 FINAL
Washington - LP: J. Zimmermann 3
Toronto - WP: M. Buehrle 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 0
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 5
Baltimore - LP: B. Norris 2 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 4
Minnesota - LP: K. Correia 4 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: B. Chen 5
Cincinnati - LP: T. Cingrani 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: E. Jackson 8
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: D. Otero 4
Milwaukee - WP: J. Henderson 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Grilli 7
Atlanta - WP: E. Santana 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 5
NY Yankees - LP: I. Nova 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: C. Archer 16
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 7
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Quintana 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 6
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. Lyles 3
Arizona - LP: M. Bolsinger 6 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: D. Haren 8
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: E. Stults 3
Brooklyn 94 FINAL
Toronto 87
Golden State 109 FINAL
LA Clippers 105
Atlanta 101 FINAL
Indiana 93
Memphis 86 FINAL
Oklahoma City 100
Chicago 3 FINAL(OT)
St. Louis 4
Columbus 4 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 3
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Colorado 4
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 1 FINAL
Chicago 1
San Jose 0 FINAL
Colorado 0
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
D.C. 1 FINAL
Columbus 1
Toronto FC 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Montreal 0 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 4
Portland 0 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Chivas USA 1

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which quarterback is best in the NFL draft?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close