Wild succeeding in role of spoiler

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 1, 2012 - 2:16 AM

Devin Setoguchi's close call in OT almost won it, and the team went on to close out a victory in the shootout.

view larger photos

  

Before Saturday's game against Los Angeles at Xcel Energy Center, Wild coach Mike Yeo had a meeting with the players. The subject: the Wild's identity, both now and moving forward.

"One word kept coming up: persistence," Yeo said.

Unlike the Kings, the Wild doesn't have the playoffs to work for. But, in what is starting to look like a late-season renaissance, the Wild translated words into action in a 4-3 shootout victory, the team's second win in a row.

Led by the line of Erik Christensen, Jason Zucker and Nick Johnson, the Wild rallied from a one-goal deficit in the third period and nearly won it in the overtime before winning the shootout.

Christensen and Zucker -- who was playing in his second NHL game -- had two points. Zucker's drive to the net resulted in Johnson's first-period goal. Then, with the Kings leading 3-2 on Brad Richardson's second goal of the game that came 57 seconds into the second period, Christensen did it for the second time in two games.

He skated into the Kings zone and dropped the puck to Zucker, whose shot from the slot went off Christensen's skate and into the net at 10:57 of the third period.

That line produced two goals, five shots and much of the energy the Wild displayed Saturday, with Zucker's speed leading the way.

"His game went to another level today," Yeo said.

Said Christensen: "He played great. You could just see his first couple steps, he's pretty quick."

For Zucker, it was only a matter of getting over those first-game jitters. "I was able to come in tonight and play more of my game," he said. "Johnson and Christensen have been helping me a lot. We've been able to get some chemistry with them. It's great."

With 23 seconds left in regulation Wild center Mikko Koivu was whistled for tripping, giving the Kings a 4-on-3 power play for just more than 1 1/2 minutes of the overtime. The Kings pressured as overtime began, and nearly won the game. But Niklas Backstrom slid across the crease to his left to get his pad on a point-blank shot by Mike Richards.

Moments later, the penalty expired, and Zucker sent a backhand pass out of his zone to Devin Setoguchi for a breakaway. Setoguchi was awarded a penalty shot after Alec Martinez dragged him down, but Setoguchi's wrist shot went off the left pipe.

In the shootout, both Christensen and Koivu scored while Backstrom stopped Justin Williams and Richards.

But the victory came at a cost. Center Warren Peters was injured going into the wall face-first after a hit by Jordan Nolan and left the game early in the third period. Earlier, defenseman Steven Kampfer was lost to an undisclosed injury. After the game Yeo said Kampfer wouldn't make the trip to Chicago for Sunday's game, but he hadn't decided whether Peters would go.

Yeo was asked if he liked playing the spoiler.

"We're doing this for our own reasons," he said. "Our focus is our ourselves, wrapping this up the right way, keeping up the standards we have in ourselves."

Etc.

• Gilbert played in his 400th NHL game Saturday. The first 384 came with the Oilers. ... LW Cal Clutterbuck played in his 300th NHL game, all with the Wild.

• Defenseman Marco Scandella was held out of Saturday's game because of an upper body injury. Yeo said it wasn't serious and termed Scandella day-to-day. Scandella took part in Saturday's morning skate and was scheduled to travel with the team to Chicago. Kurtis Foster dressed in Scandella's place.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: C. Frias 2 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 16
San Francisco - WP: S. Romo 4 FINAL
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 2
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 9
Toronto 1 FINAL
Baltimore 6
Washington - LP: R. Detwiler 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: A. Wood 3
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 4 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 3
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: A. Cobb 2
Cincinnati 1 Bottom 8th Inning
Chicago Cubs 2
Chicago WSox 1 Bottom 7th Inning
Kansas City 5
Cleveland 2 Bottom 9th Inning
Houston 0
Detroit 4 Bottom 6th Inning
Minnesota 4
Milwaukee 0 Top 8th Inning
St. Louis 2
Seattle 0 Top 2nd Inning
LA Angels 0
Texas 0 Top 2nd Inning
Oakland 0
Philadelphia 0 Bottom 1st Inning
San Diego 0
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close