Scandella plays iron man on D

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 6, 2012 - 9:15 AM

The Wild was short-handed on defense after a game misconduct for head-butting.

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Marco Scandella guzzled down an energy drink in one gulp after the Wild's come-from-behind 2-1 shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

Tired?

"A little bit," Scandella said with good reason.

In a tremendous effort, the defenseman logged a Wild-record 35 minutes, 32 seconds -- the most in the NHL since Chris Pronger skated 35:43 on March 11, 2009, and the most for an NHL rookie since Andrej Meszaros' 37:47 on April 5, 2006.

Defenseman Tom Gilbert also topped 30 minutes for a fifth consecutive game (a career-high 34:17). On one penalty kill, Gilbert was actually waved back onto the ice by assistant coach Rick Wilson as he attempted to make a line change.

"Gibby was lucky he had to get a skate repaired because he probably would have been up to about 37," coach Mike Yeo said.

The Wild was shorthanded on the back end because Nate Prosser was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for head-butting Chicago's Jamal Mayers late in the first period.

Prosser could face a suspension.

"He pushed me in the stomach and I went forward. It was the most unintentional thing I think I've ever done," Prosser said. "I think he sold it pretty well. He acted like his teeth were knocked out. I felt bad at the time, but then he's back the next shift."

With defenseman Clayton Stoner injured, 2008 first-round pick Tyler Cuma made his long-awaited NHL debut. If Prosser's suspended, it's presumed former University of North Dakota defenseman Chay Genoway is next on the Wild's nonstop recall list and never-ending Houston shuttle.

If Genoway plays in Saturday's finale against Phoenix, he'd be the Wild's 47th player, 16th rookie and ninth to make his NHL debut. Remember, the maximum amount of players on a roster is 23, so the Wild has essentially fielded two teams.

But Scandella, who assisted on Cal Clutterbuck's late-third-period tying goal, Gilbert, Justin Falk (26:24), Kurtis Foster (17:41) and Cuma (11:09) got the job done, especially Scandella and Gilbert.

Scandella logged 23:33 through two periods -- 2:02 more than his season average for a game.

"When I saw that Prosser was out, I was expecting to play a little bit more," Scandella said. "Me and Gibby and all the D did a great job of getting the puck north and making it a little bit easier on ourselves."

Gilbert's used to it. The Wild has 42 all-time 30-minute games, and seven of them belong to Gilbert. He has only played 19 games for Minnesota.

"It doesn't help when we're always down to five D it seems like," Gilbert said. "You don't really notice it. You're just going out there every shift trying to do your job. At the end of the day, it's exhausting.

"I'm in pretty good condition, so I think the first month off here will be pretty nice. ... It felt like I was jumping over the boards more than I was on the ice."

Said Yeo: "It's always nice when you have defensemen that can play big minutes like that and their game doesn't drop."

Devin Setoguchi, robbed all game by Corey Crawford, scored the shootout winner. The Wild has played 20, tying the NHL record (Phoenix, 2009-10). Josh Harding wasn't beaten by three Blackhawks shooters and made 22 saves through overtime in what could have been the final start of his Wild career. The 2002 second-rounder can become a free agent this summer.

"Didn't think about that," Harding said. "Whatever happens after the year happens after the year. I was really focused on this game."

Considering a visor

The left side of center Kyle Brodziak's face has completely swollen up since being struck by teammate Darroll Powe's skate on Tuesday in Nashville.

He's wearing a visor and will consider one next season.

"I've watched it a few times. Lucky it doesn't hit my eye," Brodziak said. "When I come back in training camp, maybe I'll try [a visor]. I have a summer to think about it. I know I'm getting enough grief about it from my wife and my mum."

  • WILD 2, CHICAGO 1 (SO) Up next: 7 p.m. Saturday vs. Phoenix (season finale) Xcel Energy Center • TV: FSN Plus (100.3-FM)

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