Kuemper makes early goals stand up against Blackhawks

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 24, 2014 - 12:19 AM

The Wild’s Darcy Kuemper stopped 33 shots, missing out on a shutout in the game’s final minute.

view larger photos

  

The question was: How would the Wild respond?

Tuesday, against a mediocre Dallas team the Wild had been both listless and scoreless. Thursday the opponent was the team with second-best record in the Western Conference.

In a 2-1 victory over the mighty Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild:

• Came out with amazing focus in a first period to take a 2-0 lead.

• Spent the rest of the game using an effective forecheck to stymie Chicago’s transition offense.

• Came 32 seconds away from handing the defending Stanley Cup champion its first shutout in 120 games.

Response? Affirmative.

“That is what we were looking for,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “I think it’s a great sign for our team. Hopefully it’s the type of game that builds confidence.”

Jason Pominville and Matt Cooke each scored for the Wild in the first period. Pominville’s goal, his team-leading 20th, came at the end of one of the prettiest rushes by the team this season. Cooke’s tally came minutes after the Wild had failed to score in two minutes’ worth of a 5-on-3 power play, at a point when the game’s momentum could have shifted.

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper was solid for most of the game and better than that at the start of the third period, when the Blackhawks had a number of chances in the first minute. And he did it while wearing Niklas Backstrom’s mask for a good stretch of the second period after his was dented by a shot to the face.

“It didn’t fit me too well,” Kuemper said. “It was hard to see out of. So I had to focus a little bit more there.”

By the way, the game also featured the return of Zach Parise, back on the ice after missing 14 games because of a foot injury. But that wasn’t the top story Thursday. Not even close.

A solid team effort was. The Wild was outshot 34-19, but the scoring chances, while generally limited, were about the same for both teams.

“The biggest thing was how we were going to respond,” Pominville said. “We weren’t too pleased with our effort in Dallas. Tonight, this was a solid effort after a pretty average effort in Dallas.”

In a crisp first period, the Wild took a 1-0 lead on one of the slickest plays of the season. Pominville carried the puck into the zone along the right boards, then sent the puck across to Dany Heatley, who sent it to Mikael Granlund in the slot. Granlund sucked everybody — including Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta — to one side, then sent a no-look pass back to Pominville, who was skating through the right circle. Pominville scored into essentially an open net.

“Just a lucky guess,” Granlund said of sensing Pominville’s presence. “Sometimes it happens.”

Said Pominville: “He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t really need to know I’m there, he just has a feel for it.”

Then, minutes after the failed 5-on-3, Cooke converted from the right circle after a lunging pass from Justin Fontaine.

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Wild 2, Chicago 1

    Thursday January 23, 2014

  • Parise back after stint as Olympic 'model'

    Friday January 24, 2014

    The Team USA outfits for the Opening and Closing Ceremony at the Sochi Olympics were announced Thursday. Certain athletes — including Zach Parise — were pictured wearing the clothes.

  • Wild-Chicago game recap

    Thursday January 23, 2014

    GAME RECAPSTAR TRIBUNE’S THREE STARS1. Darcy Kuemper, Wild: The young goalie stuffed the Stanley Cup champions, making 33 saves and...

  • Postgame: A big home victory for Wild before tough road trip

    Thursday January 23, 2014

    Wild beats Chicago for third time in four tries this season

  • Darcy Kuemper in action Thursday at Xcel Energy Center.

  • Zach Parise made his return to the Wild lineup against Chicago after missing 14 games because of a foot injury.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: D. Otero 0
Toronto 6 Bottom 9th Inning
NY Yankees 3
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: E. Butler 5
Boston 2 Bottom 1st Inning
Baltimore 0
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Washington 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Miami 0
NY Mets 1 Bottom 1st Inning
Atlanta 0
Chicago WSox 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Cleveland 0 Delayed
Minnesota 0
Seattle 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Houston 0
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 1st Inning
St. Louis 0
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
Utah 26 Delayed 7:51
Michigan 10
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
North Carolina 41 4th Qtr 7:09
East Carolina 70
Louisville 34 3rd Qtr 1:57
FIU 3
San Jose St 7 Delayed 11:38
Minnesota 17
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Indiana 24 4th Qtr 2:20
(18) Missouri 27
Texas State 21 2nd Qtr 1:25
Illinois 6
Georgia State 14 2nd Qtr 0:47
Washington 0
Appalachian St 0 1st Qtr 9:05
Southern Miss 7
Miss State 7 1st Qtr 10:35
(8) LSU 0
Northern Ill 0 1st Qtr 10:31
Arkansas 7
Middle Tennessee 0 1st Qtr 9:15
Memphis 7
Utah State 0 1st Qtr 9:15
Arkansas State 0
Miami-Ohio 7 1st Qtr 10:59
Cincinnati 0
Idaho 0 1st Qtr 10:12
Ohio U 7
Ball State 0 1st Qtr 9:30
Toledo 6
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Portland 3
Houston 0 1st Half 44:55
Philadelphia 0
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 0 9:37
Hamilton 0
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close