Teammates and Nystrom savor his slump-busting goal

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 19, 2011 - 12:35 AM

Eric Nystrom uttered "finally" after his first goal in 42 games.

Eric Nystrom

Photo: Jim Mone, Associated Press

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Eric Nystrom's elation was clear as day. After scoring in Friday's 5-1 Wild smackdown of the Anaheim Ducks, Nystrom uttered the word "finally."

Nystrom's first career power-play goal was also his first goal in 42 games, since scoring an empty-net goal in Tampa on Nov. 14.

"I told the guys after the game, 'Maybe it's just me personally, but I felt a lot of guilt, like I wasn't helping the team,' " Nystrom said. "And that weighs on your shoulders. Still, only two goals, but to chip in and help the team, it feels really good."

As Nystrom raised his arms and the soldout crowd roared, the Wild bench exploded.

"I don't know if he was happier or the other guys were happier," said coach Todd Richards. "That's a sign of a pretty close team."

Nystrom, a stand-up guy who brings character, speed, hard hits and strong penalty-killing to the Wild, had been robbed by goalies and goal posts all year.

"It's a great relief. There's been so many tough breaks," Nystrom said. "You guys don't even know what the mental challenges are when you go through something like that, to stay positive. There's days when you can't even believe it. That was a good breaking point. I felt a lot more confident after that. Hopefully it keeps up."

Zidlicky returns

Marek Zidlicky returned Friday. Guillaume Latendresse might not be too far behind him. These could be the Wild's two biggest moves before the Feb. 28 trade deadline.

"We'll continue to look and see what's there, but I continue to maintain that the best options for improvement reside with the return of Latendresse and Zidlicky," said GM Chuck Fletcher, comments he made Friday morning before Mikko Koivu's hand injury may have changed things that night.

"If you look at it this way, we're potentially adding a 25-goal scorer and 40-point defenseman, and those are expensive assets to find on the market assuming you can even find them."

Latendresse, who's been out since Oct. 25, is scheduled to see orthopedic surgeon Chris Larson on Monday.

"Assuming things go the way we expect them to, he should be cleared to practice," Fletcher said. "We're really at the point where the healing has taken place. Now it's more of getting into game shape and getting his timing back.

"Our record has been very good from January 1 on, and we've won all those games without Gui and Zids. So that's why I keep going back to these guys being significant additions."

Fletcher said he's got "nothing imminent right now," although he'll continue to look. "But it's a very expensive marketplace to get into.''


The Wild will wear custom-designed camouflage jerseys during warmups before Tuesday's game against Edmonton. The autographed jerseys will be available in an online auction Feb. 23-March 16 on Proceeds will benefit Defending The Blue Line. '

• There's limited parking and space at Saturday's 11:30 a.m. outdoor practice at MN Oval in Roseville, so get there early.

• The March 20 game against Montreal is now a 5 p.m. start.

• With Zidlicky back, Brad Staubitz was scratched.

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Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Houston 105
Golden State 41 2nd Qtr 2:35
Boston 59
Philadelphia 30 2nd Qtr 8:09
Indiana 38
Portland 44 2nd Qtr 5:07
Sacramento 41
Charlotte 35 2nd Qtr 3:44
Orlando 33
Oklahoma City 18 1st Qtr 5:30
LA Lakers 10
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Tampa Bay 1 3rd Prd
Florida 3
Columbus 1 3rd Prd
Pittsburgh 4
Toronto 6:00 PM
Anaheim 7:00 PM
St. Louis 8:30 PM
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 66 FINAL
Providence 77
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
Siena 57 FINAL
Monmouth 63
Pittsburgh 15 1st Half 8:36
Wake Forest 21
Oregon 6:00 PM
Purdue 6:30 PM
Ohio State
Arizona State 7:30 PM
Washington St 8:30 PM
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 74 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 70
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 80 FINAL
(16) Duke 81
Alabama 73 FINAL
Auburn 80
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 46 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 59
(19) Stanford 55 FINAL
Oregon 62
Marquette 82 FINAL
DePaul 99
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 48 2nd Half 0:29
(6) Tennessee 79
(2) South Carolina 42 2nd Half 7:15
(13) Kentucky 53
Utah 41 FINAL
Arizona 64
Ohio State 78 FINAL
Nebraska 60
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