Wild gets ugly shootout victory

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 12, 2013 - 7:06 AM

It wasn't much to watch, but it was enough for road victory No. 1.

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CALGARY, ALBERTA - They can't all be Picassos ... or drawings sketched on construction paper in crayon, either.

In what can only be described as an ugly, ugly, unsightly game, the video of the Wild's 2-1 shootout victory over the Calgary Flames won't find itself in a museum anytime soon.

"It wasn't pretty by any means," said Devin Setoguchi, who assisted on Kyle Brodziak's first goal of the season in the second period. "That might have been one of the ugliest wins that you're going to see. But we've found a way to get the win, and that's all that matters."

The contest was marred by icings, blocked shots, long droughts without shots, few completed passes and absolutely no flow. That even filtered into an unpleasant overtime.

But in the shootout, goalie Niklas Backstrom, who made 23 saves through overtime, stopped two shots and Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu scored on both the Wild's attempts as Minnesota won for the first time on the road (1-3-1). It was Calgary's eighth consecutive shootout loss.

The Wild hit the quarter pole of the season with a 6-5-1 record and visit Vancouver on Tuesday night.

"To get that first road win, that's a monkey off the back in itself," Brodziak said. "But we definitely weren't overly thrilled the way we played parts of that game."

For most of two periods, most of the Wild's chances came via the power play. In fact, 10 of its first 14 shots came on three scoreless man advantages.

But in the second half of the first, second and third periods, the Wild was able to generate little at even strength. It went the final 10 minutes of the first without a shot, nearly an eight-minute span without a shot before Brodziak's goal in the second and a 12-minute dearth in the third.

"We were definitely sputtering. Our game was not sharp," Brodziak said. "Turning too many pucks over. We weren't sustaining any kind of pressure in their zone. Backy, he was huge tonight for us. He weathered the storm when we were at our worst."

With little happening, the Wild finally began to forecheck hard late in the second and it paid off.

With Brodziak and Setoguchi pressuring down low, Jarome Iginla tried to clear the puck along the wall, but a pinching Ryan Suter came up the wall and deflected the puck right to Setoguchi between the circles.

Brodziak made a hairpin turn toward the net, took Setoguchi's pass and scored a quick-strike goal by pulling goalie Leland Irving out of the net with the backhand and tucking a forehand shot behind him for his first goal.

Fittingly, Setoguchi scored his first goal the game before in overtime against Nashville.

"I know better than anyone else it's nice to get the first one off your back," Setoguchi said.

The Wild's top line of Parise, Koivu and Charlie Coyle and the Suter-Jonas Brodin pairing put together a suffocating first shift of the third period. The five skaters spent a minute in the zone and it ended with Irving denying Setoguchi from the doorstep.

But on the ensuing shift, defenseman Clayton Stoner stepped up in the offensive zone and banked it off a Calgary forward. It resulted with a 2-on-1 and Jiri Hudler beat Backstrom with a great shot after Tom Gilbert went down to take away the pass.

The Wild found a way to prevail though.

"But two points on the road is good," coach Mike Yeo said. "We didn't always make it easy on ourselves. But in order to win, you still have to do some good things, and there were some good things."

Particularly, Suter (first plus-1 game as a Wild) and Brodin.

"Making plays, executing, they were our two best back there for sure," Yeo said.

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