Wild newcomer lights a spark with prowess in shootout

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 25, 2012 - 12:44 AM

Erik Christensen's shootout goal Thursday at Florida was his 12th shootout-deciding goal since the NHL instituted the skills competition in 2005.

hide

Erik Christensen (left)

Photo: Tony Gutierrez, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

DALLAS - Erik Christensen's shootout goal Thursday at Florida was his 12th shootout-deciding goal since the NHL instituted the skills competition in 2005. That's one off league leaders Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby.

Yet after the Wild's victory, there was no hint of a smile from Christensen. It showed just how much he is feeling pressure to start contributing in the 65 minutes before the shootout.

Friday night, Christensen returned to American Airlines Center, where he made his Wild debut Feb. 4 after being acquired with a conditional seventh-round pick from the Rangers for Casey Wellman.

In the nine games heading into Friday's game against the Stars, Christensen had no goals, no assists and only six shots on goal -- two in the previous seven games.

"Everyone loves to score goals," said Christensen, who didn't play in New York after Dec. 17. "It's been a tough year. I think the most important thing right now for me is just play. Play the system, and goals will come.

"The first couple games when I got here, I was so focused on trying to make an immediate impact and when you don't do that, it builds and you can get that weight on your back. Hopefully I can put one in the next couple games and feel loose."

That's definitely what Wild coach Mike Yeo, who coached Christensen in both Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre, is hoping.

Yeo says it must start with Christensen, who has been too weak on the puck, starting to shoot.

"You can see he's still not quite confident to the point where [shooting] is his first instinct," Yeo said before Friday's game. "He's got a great shot, so I'd love to see him get that off. He was brought in here because he's got skill and he's got the ability to make plays and create offense, so certainly we can use him."

Etc.

• Matt Cullen scored his seventh shootout goal of the season Thursday at Florida. That's tied with Pittsburgh superstar Evgeni Malkin for second in the NHL, and two behind New Jersey star Ilya Kovalchuk.

• Carson McMillan was reassigned to AHL Houston. Mikko Koivu (undisclosed) was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 16.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 100 FINAL
Charlotte 115
New York 80 FINAL
Chicago 111
Golden State 108 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Oklahoma City 89 FINAL
Utah 94
Denver 114 FINAL
Portland 120
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 FINAL
Carolina 3
Florida 2 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 3
Ottawa 3 FINAL(OT)
Toronto 4
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 4 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Buffalo 3 FINAL
Colorado 5
Dallas 4 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 73 FINAL
NJIT 78
Notre Dame 66 FINAL
Kentucky 68
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 2 FINAL
Columbus 1
Portland 1 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Houston 0
Seattle 0 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 69 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 73
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: What are you following most closely right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close