Wild beats Columbus, gets back on track

  • Updated: April 8, 2013 - 7:06 AM

Riding a three-game skid and seeing its playoff positioning take a hit, the Wild responded with an efficient road victory.

view larger photos

  

– Everybody can breathe easier.

With the Wild trending the wrong direction the past two weeks and gradually sliding into a playoff bubble spot, the bleeding was stopped Sunday night against one of the NHL’s toughest home-ice teams.

The Wild ended the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 12-game home point streak by handing them their first regulation loss at Nationwide Arena since Feb. 10 with a well-earned 3-0 victory.

“It was one of those games where everybody’s mentally right in there,” said Cal Clutterbuck, who had a strong game with linemates Kyle Brodziak and Charlie Coyle. “You could just feel the intensity, almost like a telepathic focus going through the bench. You can just tell everybody was zeroed in.”

Ryan Suter and Coyle scored second-period power-play goals, recently acquired Jason Pominville had a goal and assist, and Niklas Backstrom responded from being pulled Thursday in Los Angeles with a 24-save shutout, the 28th shutout of his career.

Backstrom set the tone early with a clutch save on Cam Atkinson’s attempted stuff and cruised from there. The NHL’s leader with 20 victories improved to 21-2-4 all-time in his first start after being pulled and 17-0-2 since March 26, 2008.

“What a great response by [Backstrom]. That’s what he does,” coach Mike Yeo said. “Just a solid game all around. We had everyone going. … What you saw tonight is what our game is supposed to look like.”

The Wild ended a three-game losing streak and avoided being shut out on its three-game road trip. It now returns home for an important three-game homestand with 10 games left in the regular season. The Wild moved back into sixth place in the Western Conference but more importantly moved six points ahead of the surging ninth-place Phoenix Coyotes.

The loss was a big blow to Todd Richards’ Blue Jackets, who got no spark in Marian Gaborik’s home debut. They’re now five points behind eighth-place Detroit.

The Wild got pucks deep, forechecked hard, exuded effort all over the ice, especially on four spotless penalty kills, and executed impressively from the back end.

“Nice to get back on the winning side of things,” said Pominville, who was surprised 45 minutes before warmups by his wife and two children, who drove in from Buffalo, N.Y. “Big surprise,” he said.

After a scoreless first period, the Wild dominated the second, outshooting Columbus 11-4 and drawing three power plays by using pure hustle. First, Torrey Mitchell stole a puck from Blake Comeau, who reacted by hooking Mitchell. Then Zach Parise beat out an icing en route to Mikko Koivu being tripped. Finally, Coyle skated through Vaclav Prospal’s check until the referee’s arm went up.

Suter, who topped 30 minutes of ice time for the fifth time this season, got things started by whistling a shot through traffic that beat red-hot goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

Later in the period, Coyle had a masterpiece shift. The 21-year-old rookie, who plays a mature game and is so good along the wall, kept possession in the offensive zone with a single-man forecheck to allow a wholesale line change after Koivu dumped the puck.

Moments later, Jared Spurgeon saved the zone after a Suter shot. Devin Setoguchi found the puck and fed it across for rookie Mikael Granlund, who set up a seeing-eye, one-time tap-in by Coyle. It was Coyle’s third goal in five games and first career power-play goal.

“Granny has eyes in the back of his head,” Coyle said.

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Wild 3, Columbus 0

    Sunday April 7, 2013

  • Shoulder surgery could speed Heatley's return

    Monday April 8, 2013

    Veteran goal scorer Dany Heatley stayed behind in Columbus on Sunday night because he will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder Tuesday in Cleveland.

  • Haula leaves U, signs two-year deal with Wild

    Monday April 8, 2013

    After leading the nation’s highest-scoring team in scoring the past two seasons, Erik Haula knew it was time for the next challenge.

  • Postgame: Big win for Wild; shoulder surgery for Heatley

    Sunday April 7, 2013

    The Wild snapped a three-game losing streak to move six points up on 9th-place Phoenix

  • Wild-Columbus game recap

    Sunday April 7, 2013

    GAME RECAPStar Tribune’sThree Stars1. Ryan Suter, Wild: Logged 31:07, scored the winning goal.2. Niklas Backstrom, Wild: After giving up two...

  • Minnesota's Pierre-Marc Bouchard (96) weavesdthrough the defense of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

  • Jason Pominville, right, celebrated his first Wild goal Sunday and got a surprise visit from his wife and children.

  • Charlie Coyle beat Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky for a second-period goal after a beauty of a pass from fellow Wild rookie Mikael Granlund.

  • Columbus left winger Matt Calvert, right, grabbed ahold of Wild center Mikko Koivu during the second period Sunday. The Wild moved up to sixth in the Western Conference with a 3-0 victory.

  • Minnesota Wild right wing Charlie Coyle (63) sneaks a goal past Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the second period at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, Sunday, April 7, 2013. The Minnesota Wild defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-0. (Eamon Queeney/Columbus Dispatch/MCT)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 115 FINAL
Denver 111
Indiana 100 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
NC A&T 55 FINAL
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
TX A&M-CC 73 FINAL
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
New Mexico St 55 FINAL
Baylor 66
San Diego St 62 FINAL
Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
Incarnate Word 82 FINAL
Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 73 FINAL
UNLV 75
CS-Northridge 56 FINAL
Oregon 79
Grambling St 38 FINAL
Washington 86
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
UNLV 84
NC A&T 70 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close