After bad twists, Wild can shout

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 15, 2011 - 11:33 PM

Down two goals and missing some key players for a stretch, Minnesota rallied past Columbus, completed a 3-2 trip and let out a hearty yell.

hide

The Wild's Pierre-Marc Bouchard (96), Matt Cullen (7), Cal Clutterbuck and Nate Prosser (39) celebrated Clutterbuck's goal against Columbus in the third period Tuesday night.

Photo: Paul Vernon, AP

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

COLUMBUS, OHIO - After the game, before the dressing room door opened, you could hear cheers. Loud cheers. Raucous, even.

Why not?

The Wild was dealing with a few things Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was the final installment of Minnesota's five-game road trip. The team had crossed a few time zones to get here Monday, and had taken a day off from the ice. Early in the first period the Wild lost two of its top forwards to 10-minute misconduct penalties and, a few moments later, defenseman Marek Zidlicky for the game because of a hit to the head.

But the team found a way. Down two goals while Cal Clutterbuck and Pierre-Marc Bouchard sat and stewed for half of the first period, the Wild came back for a 4-2 victory, with Bouchard feeding Clutterbuck for the winner at 7:38 of the third.

The Wild finished the five-game trip with a 3-2 mark, maintained first place in the Northwest Division and is coming home for a season-long six-game home stretch.

The Wild has 23 points, which is tied with Philadelphia and the New York Rangers for second most in the NHL.

"I didn't see it go in," Clutterbuck said of his game-winner. "I heard it. I saw the light. That's a good feeling."

Everyone on the team was feeling pretty good. Goalie Niklas Backstrom stopped 43 of 45 shots against a Columbus team that started the game on fire and ended it the same way. The Wild got goals from Matt Cullen and Nick Johnson 20 seconds apart in the second period to tie the score. And then, fittingly, it was Bouchard and Clutterbuck who combined for the winner. Devin Setoguchi got an empty-net goal with 7 seconds left.

On the winning play, Bouchard took a pass from Justin Falk, skated into the offensive zone on the right wing, then dropped a pass to Clutterbuck, whose wrist shot beat Steve Mason.

"I called for it quickly," Clutterbuck said. "I had a feeling he knew where I was. He has all the talent in the world to make those plays. I just had to be ready."

The Wild didn't look ready at the start. Columbus started strong, the Wild started on its heels. It only got worse when the officials, trying to set a tone, sent four players off for misconducts at 4:59 after Clutterbuck came to the aid of Bouchard, who was being asked to fight. The trade-off didn't favor the Wild, which lost two high-minute, multi-situational players while the Blue Jackets lost a couple of fourth-liners.

And it showed. Antoine Vermette scored a short-handed goal at 6:51, and Mark Letestu made it 2-0 with a power play goal at 10:42, both scored with Clutterbuck and Bouchard watching from the box.

But the Wild found a way.

Coach Mike Yeo knew it wouldn't be perfect for his team. What impressed him was the way it responded.

"It would have been easy to just say, 'OK, it wasn't our night,'" Yeo said. "But our guys didn't do that. They brought everything they had."

And the Wild came back. Cullen's backhand power-play goal made it 2-1 at 10:32 of the second. Only 20 seconds later, Johnson's goal tied it.

After Clutterbuck scored the go-ahead goal, the Blue Jackets pressed. Rick Nash had two great chances, including a shot from the doorstep with 9 minutes left that defenseman Jared Spurgeon managed to deflect off the pipe at the last minute.

When it was over, the players allowed themselves a little celebration.

"We're enjoying it," said Cullen, who leads the Wild with eight goals. "You enjoy it more when you play hard and play together. Go out and get three of five on the road trip? We're showing good signs."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close