Backstrom big, even in shootout

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 24, 2012 - 7:11 AM

The Wild goalie had lost four shootouts in a row. But in Florida, he was in control, stopping 41 shots through 65 minutes, then two more.

view larger photos

  

SUNRISE, FLA. -- For two months, the Wild has sounded like a broken record.

"We're not going to outskill teams." "We need to get to the net." "We need to score more dirty goals."

Thursday night, the Wild did just that against the Florida Panthers, getting in former teammate Jose Theodore's kitchen and cooking up two smelly, grimy, greasy goals before getting rewarded for that hard work in, believe it or not, the shootout.

Yes, to repeat, the Wild was rewarded in the shootout for a change. The Wild won 3-2 thanks to Erik Christensen and Matt Cullen going 2 and 2 in the shootout and most notably, Niklas Backstrom going 2-for-2, as well.

"It's nice to get that extra point," said Cullen, who scored for the seventh time this season in the skills competition. "We battled really hard tonight. Every point is at a premium right now."

The Wild had lost six of its previous seven shootouts. Backstrom, who has the NHL's lowest shootout save percentage, had lost four in a row.

But fresh off his 48-save shutout over Boston, Backstrom was again cool, calm, quiet and in control while making 41 saves through 65 minutes, then money in denying Kris Versteeg and Sean Bergenheim.

"Great for Back, first off for getting us to that point," said coach Mike Yeo, who tried to end things earlier by using three forwards during 4-on-4 in overtime.

After Florida elected to let the Wild shoot first, Christensen, who has no points in nine games since the Wild acquired him from the Rangers, also scored his 26th career shootout goal on what Cullen called "a Holy Cow" move.

"It's a struggle offensively right now for me getting chances," Christensen said. "I hate being the one-trick pony or being thought of as that, but this is one of the reasons why I came here. These points are valuable."

It certainly was. The Wild, 3-11-3 in its past 17 road games, won consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 21-24 and moved three points back of eighth-place Los Angeles.

It came after Kyle Brodziak and Cullen scored off Dany Heatley rebounds, Brodziak's coming with 20 seconds left in the second period to tie the game, Cullen's coming 1:14 into the third to give the Wild a 2-1 lead.

Brodziak's goal was his first point since Feb. 4. Cullen's gave him goals in consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 13-15.

After a scoreless first period, the Panthers dominated the second, holding the Wild to no shots during a 16-minute span and taking a 1-0 lead on Mikael Samuelsson's power-play goal.

But former Colorado College teammates Chad Rau and Nate Prosser helped turn the momentum, and finally Brodziak buried Heatley's rebound after Marek Zidlicky's stick exploded on a shot. It was Brodziak's 16th goal, tying his career-high with 22 games left.

"Enormous goal," Yeo said.

It changed the entire complexion of the period. Then, early in the third, Marco Scandella drew a penalty, and Cullen scored right from Theodore's doorstep.

"That's the way we have to do it," Yeo said of the dirty goals. "The league gets tougher, teams defend better. So those real great opportunities that quite often you see produce goals are fewer and fewer."

The Panthers pressed late though, and Bergenheim tied the score at 2-2 with 4:12 left in regulation.

"You see, that's how they scored, too -- dirty goals," Brodziak said. "We did it, too, and it paid off. It's a good recipe that we've got to stick with."

  • related content

  • Postgame: Wild going for third straight in Dallas

    Friday February 24, 2012

    The Wild won for a second consecutive time Thursday in Florida

  • A few Wild have warm thoughts about Florida

    Thursday February 23, 2012

    The Wild doesn't play in South Florida often, but BankAtlantic Center provides good memories for a handful of Wild players.

  • Wild-Florida game recap

    Thursday February 23, 2012

    1. Niklas Backstrom, Wild: Won his second consecutive game with 41 saves and stopped a four-game winless streak in shootouts.

  • Wild-Dallas game preview

    Thursday February 23, 2012

    Preview: The Wild completes a grueling back-to-back in an arena it hasn't won inside in almost nine years. The Wild has the NHL's longest current winless streak in one arena....

  • Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom makes a save.

  • WILD 3, FLORIDA 2 (SO) UP NEXT: 7:30 TONIGHT AT DALLAS • TV: FSN (100.3-FM)

  • 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
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Houston
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Colorado 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Carolina
Washington 6:00 PM
Columbus
Anaheim 6:30 PM
Montreal
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Canisius
Temple 6:00 PM
Delaware
FIU 6:00 PM
Long Island
Lehigh 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
South Alabama 6:00 PM
Richmond
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
South Florida
Ga Southern 6:00 PM
Stetson
Yale 6:00 PM
Vermont
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Virginia
Wright State 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
Nicholls 6:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Morgan State 6:30 PM
Rider
Idaho State 6:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oakland City 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Eureka 7:00 PM
Bradley
Appalachian St 7:00 PM
Charlotte
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Duke
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Coastal Carolina 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Montana State 7:30 PM
South Dakota
LSU 8:00 PM
UAB
Ohio 8:05 PM
Evansville
CS-Dominguez 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Walla Walla 9:00 PM
Idaho
DePaul 9:00 PM
Oregon State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Pacific
Portland State 9:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Bakersfield 9:05 PM
Utah State
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
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 4:00 PM
Howard
Southern Miss 4:00 PM
Ole Miss
UMBC 4:00 PM
Rider
Miami-Florida 5:00 PM
UCLA
St Mary-KS 5:00 PM
South Dakota
William & Mary 5:00 PM
Wofford
Troy 5:30 PM
Evansville
Loyola Marymount 6:00 PM
USC
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Duquesne
Indiana-Southeast 6:00 PM
IUPUI
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Detroit
Tenn Temple 6:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
West Virginia St 6:00 PM
Radford
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
Dartmouth 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Ball State 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Trine 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Tenn Tech 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Samford 7:00 PM
Tulane
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Ark-Little Rock 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
CS-Northridge 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
Oregon
(19) Oklahoma St 8:00 PM
Weber State
Washington 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Cal Poly 8:00 PM
New Mexico
(10) Louisville 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
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 pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close