Wild loses, but continues strong late push

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 5, 2012 - 1:47 AM

Its three-game winning streak ended, but the Wild again competed with one of the league's top teams.

view larger photos

  

NASHVILLE - Mike Yeo doesn't buy that the reason the Wild has been successful recently is because the pressure's off and players feel looser with nothing to play for.

That's always the annual debate when also-rans win meaningless games down the stretch.

Using Erik Christensen, who has played well after a rocky start to his Wild career, as an example, the Wild coach said earlier this week, "I think if you ask him, I don't think he feels any less pressure. ... He knows he's playing for a job and that's a different kind of pressure. It's not a team-oriented pressure, but it is a pressure that I think all of our guys are feeling."

Tuesday night, with the Wild riding a three-game winning streak into its game with the playoff-bound Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena, Minnesota put forth another strong effort before falling in a shootout, 2-1.

Christensen, Mikko Koivu and Devin Setoguchi couldn't beat Anders Lindback, while Alex Radulov scored a beauty.

"I looked at their lineup before the game, and it's a challenge," said Wild defenseman Justin Falk, who played an outstanding game. "They have a lot up front. I thought the whole back end, we matched that and didn't give them much and went toe-to-toe with them."

In the Wild's fourth consecutive overtime, it was unable to score on a 1 minute, 49 second 4-on-3 power play to start OT. With temperatures nearing 85 degrees outside, the ice was choppy and both teams had trouble handling the puck all game.

Look no further than Christensen. Normally money in the shootout, the puck hopped and he lost it. Prior to the game, a chunk of ice missing in front of the Wild bench exposed cement.

"Just an ugly hockey game all around, but the effort was there," Setoguchi said.

Dany Heatley scored for the Wild and Niklas Backstrom made 23 saves. Lindback made 25.

The game began with a frightening incident when the skate of linemate Darroll Powe struck center Kyle Brodziak in the face. Blood fell and Brodziak rushed to the bench.

"It was scary," Yeo said. "I think it shows you how much he's respected by our whole team. As soon as it happened, there was a lot of concern. We've got Mikko yelling over at their bench, 'Get the doctor, get the doctor' as the play's going on."

Thankfully, Powe's skate clipped Brodziak's left cheek and the outside of his nose. Stitched up, Brodziak returned with two minutes left in the period and donned the long visor the Wild specially orders for Heatley.

Sore after the game, Brodziak declined to comment, but unaccustomed to playing with a visor, he seemed to have difficulty playing the puck.

"He came out with a bit of a giggle on his face," Yeo said.

Yeo was pleased with his team's performance. The only real mishap was a Clayton Stoner turnover that resulted in a 2-on-0 and a Gabriel Bourque goal. But Stoner responded well, Yeo felt, as did the Jason Zucker-Christensen-Nick Johnson line, which struggled so badly in Chicago Yeo could barely play them.

The Wild looks like a different team with Koivu, who missed 23 games in the second half because of a shoulder injury. And that -- not the pressure being off -- is why Yeo believes the Wild's playing well.

"Just go through all the different things he does, from matchups to the minutes he eats, to the penalty killing, to the faceoffs, to the offensive chances he creates," Yeo said. "There's so many parts of the game he controls, it can't be overstated, really."

  • NASHVILLE 2, WILD 1 (SO)

    Up next: 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Chicago • Xcel Energy Center • TV: FSN (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer 4
Miami - LP: C. Hatcher 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 5
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 6 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 7 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll 1
Texas - WP: S. Baker 13 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: N. Ramirez 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek 2
Colorado - LP: R. Brothers 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: B. Ziegler 5
Oakland - LP: J. Lester 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 4
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 3
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 8 FINAL
Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez 3
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 2 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong 13
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 3 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 71 FINAL
Phoenix 85
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