Bouncing away: Wild's season ends with OT loss to Chicago

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 14, 2014 - 1:57 PM

A stupid stanchion.

The Wild’s season came to a sudden death Tuesday night because of a stupid stanchion.

“We were all kind of in shock that it happened,” Zach Parise said in a silent, stunned locker room after the Wild’s heartbreaking, season-ending 2-1 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. “It’s not the way you envision losing a series. It can’t get any worse than losing like that.”

Home-ice advantage had been so kind to the Wild all postseason, but the glass around the rink at Xcel Energy Center couldn’t have been more cruel midway through OT.

Chicago’s Brent Seabrook dumped the puck from center ice a few feet from the Blackhawks bench door solely so he could make a line change. But the puck hit a metal stanchion and ricocheted in front of the net and past Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

Ryan Suter quickly tied up Peter Regin. But after they overskated the puck, Patrick Kane, the playoff overtime master, roamed free of Matt Cooke and backhanded the puck right under the crossbar.

“If the luck finds me or the heavens above give me some blessings in overtime, I’ll keep taking it,” Kane said after his fourth career playoff overtime winner. “You know, it’s like Johnny [Toews] always finds a way to score game-winners.”

The arena, which had been rocking all night because of scintillating action and overwrought anxiety, came to a total hush with the reality that eight months after the Wild reported for training camp and 13 games into this exciting postseason, the Wild’s season was over.

“It just feels empty,” said Erik Haula, who scored the Wild’s only goal — a second-period tying goal on a breakaway. “I’m sure that goal will be in the back of my head for a long time. It’s a horrible way to end it.’’

“I heard it hit the stanchion. Next thing I see, it’s on Kane’s tape and he goes backhand shot, right under the bar,’’ Haula added. “I knew right away it was in. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe that’s how it ended.”

Trying desperately to force a Game  7, the Wild outchanced the Blackhawks again but couldn’t find a way to beat Corey Crawford beyond Haula’s goal — a play in which he turned on the afterburners and caught up to Cooke’s bank pass in the second period. It was Haula’s fifth point in six games this series and fourth goal of the playoffs, tying Parise and Mikael Granlund for the team lead.

Crawford made 26 of his 34 saves in the final two periods plus overtime. The Wild also hit a few pipes and had 21 shots blocked. The Parise-Granlund-Jason Pominville line flirted for a goal all night but couldn’t buy one.

“They’re a great team. Great teams get bounces sometimes,” Haula said. “I was just kind of waiting for us to get one, but it didn’t happen. It went the other way.”

The Blackhawks are 8-0 in Game 6 clinchers in the Jonathan Toews/Kane era, including a 6-0 mark on the road. The defending champs will play the winner of Anaheim and Los Angeles in the Western Conference Final.

“We saw how hard it is, and this time of the year how hard you have to play on a nightly basis,” Parise said. “We lost to a very good team, but it’s not as if we didn’t feel we could have won that series. We had our opportunities. It just didn’t go our way.”

Coach Mike Yeo, in the last year of his contract, was dejected postgame but proud of his team.

“This is a special group,” Yeo said. “Our guys did everything that we asked and they laid it on the line, and that’s what hurts. That’s what’s hard.

“I believe that we’ve created a culture here, an identity and an attitude and they should be proud of that, but it never ends. They just have to keep working … and build on it.”

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Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston 8 Bottom 9th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Miami 2 FINAL
Atlanta 5
Cleveland 4 Delayed
Kansas City 0
Detroit 7 Bottom 7th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Texas 13 Bottom 7th Inning
Houston 2
Chicago Cubs 6 Bottom 8th Inning
St. Louis 2
Colorado 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Arizona 0
Oakland 0 Top 3rd Inning
LA Angels 0
Los Angeles 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
San Diego 0
Washington 1 Top 2nd Inning
Seattle 2
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 1st Inning
San Francisco 2
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
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Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 24 4th Qtr 14:45
Western Ky 45
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Houston 0
Colorado State 7 3rd Qtr
Colorado 10
UNLV 0 1st Qtr 15:00
Arizona 0
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Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
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Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
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Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
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Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
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Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
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Boston College
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Houston 1 2nd Half
Sporting Kansas City 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
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Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
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Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota 27 2nd Qtr 5:13
Phoenix 31





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