Wild's wild rally falls short in Montreal

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 2, 2012 - 7:55 AM

The Wild lost Niklas Backstrom just minutes in, then rallied late in regulation only to lose in a shootout.

view larger photos


MONTREAL -- The first three minutes?

It couldn't have gone worse. The Wild took a double-minor, a third minor penalty, gave up one 5-on-3 goal and was on another long one when it lost its No. 1 goaltender, Niklas Backstrom, to what looks like a serious lower-body injury.

The last four minutes? It couldn't have gone better.

Trailing 4-1, the Wild shocked the partying, ole'ing Bell Centre fandom when it scored three times in the final 3 minutes, 53 seconds to force overtime with the Canadiens. It eventually lost the shootout, and the game, 5-4.

Matt Kassian, who entered with no goals in 20 career games, sparked the comeback with his second goal. Dany Heatley scored 2:10 later before Devin Setoguchi tied the score with 9.8 seconds left.

"That was quite a game," coach Mike Yeo said. "It's too bad we couldn't get that second point because I'm really impressed and happy with the way we battled in that third period. We overcame a lot of adversity."

David Desharnais scored the lone shootout goal against Josh Harding as Matt Cullen, Heatley and Setoguchi missed. Setoguchi lost the puck when it stopped short after he stick-handled it outside the Zamboni scrape done after overtime. He then slipped and fell to the glee of the crowd.

"As soon as you stop, it's over anyways, but I just decided to do it with a little more flare and fall," Setoguchi said. "It's frustrating. I mean, you have a chance to keep the game alive and something like that happens."

It never would have gotten to that point if Setoguchi hadn't scored by gathering Matt Cullen's pass from behind the net at the far post.

That came instants after Heatley picked off what looked to be goalie Carey Price's attempted rink-long toss at an empty net. Price said he was actually trying to pass to Tomas Plekanec up the middle of the ice.

"I saw him try to go up the gut. I got lucky it bounced by [Erik] Cole," Heatley said. "If he was going for the empty net, I think he should have got a little more on it. I don't think that would have made it down there."

The Wild got off to a terrible start when Jed Ortmeyer was nailed for four minutes for high-sticking, then Justin Falk held Cole.

P.K. Subban scored on the 5-on-3, and 19 seconds later on the second 5-on-3, Backstrom made a right pad save on Cole. He immediately went down, slapping the ice in pain before falling in the crease.

Unable to put any pressure on his left leg, Backstrom was helped off by medical trainer Don Fuller. Yeo offered no specifics on the injury or extent of it, but GM Chuck Fletcher told CBC it's not a short-term thing.

The rally came after the Wild's power play fell short five times, including on a shortened three-minute major after Ryan White ambushed Stephane Veilleux and two abbreviated two-man advantages.

But after Max Pacioretty and Desharnais gave the Canadiens a 4-1 lead, "Kass gave us life," said Heatley. Kassian's second goal came on Nick Johnson's rebound -- one of his three assists.

"You can't credit my two linemates [Darroll Powe and Johnson] enough. They had fantastic games," Kassian said.

The Wild kept coming, and the Canadiens were on their heels dramatically.

Finally Heatley scored his 20th goal by following up his own rebound. Yeo pulled Harding, and then Setoguchi struck.

"Our forecheck was really strong in the third period, and our cycle game, we controlled the puck a lot and with that created a lot of momentum and gave us that belief," Yeo said.

  • related content

  • Clutterbuck takes frustration out on stick

    Friday March 2, 2012

    Cal Clutterbuck has had a short fuse lately, so much so that the NBC Sports Network came back from a commercial break during Tuesday's Wild loss to Los Angeles and...

  • Montreal report: A night for losers + Setoguchi fail video

    Friday March 2, 2012

    Veteran Montreal hockey writer on the Wild and Canadiens.

  • Wild-Montreal game recap

    Friday March 2, 2012

    1. Matt Kassian, Wild: In his 21st career game, the enforcer scored his first two goals, the second sparking a late three-goal rally.

  • Wild-Detroit game preview

    Thursday March 1, 2012

    Preview: The Red Wings, who lead the league with 42 wins, are an NHL-best 26-3-2 at home this season. If the Wild wins, it would be the only team in...

  • Backstrom injured groin; Hackett recalled

    Friday March 2, 2012

    The Wild lost Niklas Backstrom in a 5-4 shootout loss in Montreal

  • Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom was scored on by Montreal's P.K. Subban (not shown) as Canadiens' Max Pacioretty (67) looked for a rebound.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Cleveland 86 FINAL
Indiana 93
Washington 81 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Golden State 113 FINAL
Toronto 89
New York 121 FINAL
Detroit 115
Orlando 88 FINAL
Atlanta 95
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Boston 106
LA Clippers 97 FINAL
Memphis 79
Brooklyn 98 FINAL
Houston 102
Miami 102 FINAL
New Orleans 104
Minnesota 89 FINAL
Chicago 96
Utah 104 FINAL
Denver 82
San Antonio 107 FINAL
Sacramento 96
Milwaukee 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
Oklahoma City 112 FINAL
Portland 115
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 2
Calgary 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Washington 0 FINAL
Carolina 3
Chicago 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Colorado 5 FINAL(SO)
Dallas 4
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Penn 69 FINAL
Brown 75
Fairfield 65 FINAL
Canisius 72
Manhattan 75 FINAL
Iona 79
Saint Peters 67 FINAL
Marist 69
Princeton 60 FINAL
Yale 81
Ohio 58 FINAL
Akron 70
Dartmouth 84 FINAL
Columbia 71
Valparaiso 56 FINAL
Cleveland State 53
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 77 FINAL
Xavier 60
Cornell 54 FINAL
Harvard 60
Yale 49 FINAL
(14) Princeton 67
Elon 51 FINAL
Drexel 54
Northeastern 47 FINAL
James Madison 82
St Johns 60 FINAL
Butler 49
Creighton 71 FINAL
Georgetown 62
Brown 58 FINAL
Penn 75
Columbia 50 FINAL
Dartmouth 60
Canisius 54 FINAL
Siena 58
St Josephs Brooklyn 35 FINAL
Western Carolina 86 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 80
Colorado 66 FINAL
Arizona 51
Southern Ill 72 FINAL
Bradley 66
Drake 59 FINAL
Wichita State 80
Indiana State 71 FINAL
Evansville 53
Illinois State 53 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 67
Northern Iowa 70 FINAL
Missouri State 72
Utah 42 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 46
Providence 62 FINAL
Villanova 71
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which is your favorite 'return' by a Minnesota athlete?

Weekly Question