'Rusty' Christensen breaks loose with pair of goals

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 11, 2012 - 10:10 PM

view larger photos


Erik Christensen has been waiting for this for a long time.

Christensen, acquired by the Wild in a trade in early February, came to Minnesota from the New York Rangers not having played much. He was a center with some skill who had a bit of rust to work off.

He could be getting close to rust-free. Christensen, who had not registered a point in 15 games since joining the Wild, scored two goals in Sunday's 4-3 loss to Calgary at Xcel Energy Center.

They came two minutes and 20 seconds apart in the third period. The first came only 27 seconds after the Flames had taken a 2-0 lead.

"It's difficult," he said. "You haven't played much hockey. I was scratched the majority of the time I was with New York this year. And when I did play, it was five, six, seven minutes. It took me a lot longer than I thought it would to kind of feel back into a groove. Tonight I definitely felt good."

The first goal was unassisted. Christensen got the puck near the blue line, then skated into the left circle and beat Flames goalie Mikka Kiprusoff between the pads. The second goal came from the right circle. Christensen came out of the corner, got a pass from Jared Spurgeon and beat Kiprusoff high.

"He was brought in to score, to shoot pucks," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "We all felt if he could get one, he would hopefully break loose after that. It didn't take long to get another one after he got the first. So let's hope that's something to build off of."

Gilbert adjusting

Wild defenseman Tom Gilbert, who came to the Wild from Edmonton in the Nick Schultz trade Feb. 27, is enjoying just about everything about being back in his home state. Most recently, that has especially included the on-ice part of it. One day after the trade Gilbert, who brought a reputation as a puck-moving defenseman, was put into the lineup without having a full practice with the team. He didn't know the Wild's defensive zone scheme and he found himself doing more thinking than reacting.

But that's getting better. In Thursday's 3-2 shootout victory in Phoenix, Gilbert was a plus-2 and blocked six shots.

"He was really good," Yeo said.

Sunday Gilbert got an assist -- his first point with the Wild in seven games -- blocked a shot and was a plus-1.

Slowly, but surely, Gilbert is starting to show what he can do in the transition game, getting the puck moving out of the Wild's defensive zone.

"That game I really started to feel comfortable," Gilbert said. "Now I know the system. There is so much to learn -- penalty kill, power play, 5-on-5, neutral zone. But every game it's getting better."


• Defenseman Clayton Stoner returned to action after missing 17 games because of a lower body injury.

• Still not feeling well, left wing Cal Clutterbuck missed his third game Sunday. Justin Falk (lower body) also missed his third consecutive game.

• Josh Harding, who sustained a lower-body injury in the Wild's game in Phoenix, was healthy enough to be the backup Sunday to starting goaltender Matt Hackett.

  • related content

  • Minnesota Wild vs. Calgary Flame. Calgary won 4-3. Calgary's Sven Baer...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 3
Texas 12 Bottom 8th Inning
Seattle 3
Washington - D. Fister 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick
Tampa Bay - D. Smyly 6:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Boston - J. Kelly 6:07 PM
Toronto - M. Stroman
NY Yankees - S. Greene 6:08 PM
Detroit - D. Price
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:10 PM
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler
Chicago Cubs - J. Turner 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Latos
Cleveland - C. Kluber 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi
Minnesota - P. Hughes 7:10 PM
Kansas City - L. Hendriks
Oakland - D. Pomeranz 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 8:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw 8:40 PM
Arizona - W. Miley
Miami - H. Alvarez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
Colorado - F. Morales 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
D.C. 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question