Wild beats Columbus, gets back on track

  • Updated: April 8, 2013 - 7:06 AM

Riding a three-game skid and seeing its playoff positioning take a hit, the Wild responded with an efficient road victory.

view larger photos

  

– Everybody can breathe easier.

With the Wild trending the wrong direction the past two weeks and gradually sliding into a playoff bubble spot, the bleeding was stopped Sunday night against one of the NHL’s toughest home-ice teams.

The Wild ended the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 12-game home point streak by handing them their first regulation loss at Nationwide Arena since Feb. 10 with a well-earned 3-0 victory.

“It was one of those games where everybody’s mentally right in there,” said Cal Clutterbuck, who had a strong game with linemates Kyle Brodziak and Charlie Coyle. “You could just feel the intensity, almost like a telepathic focus going through the bench. You can just tell everybody was zeroed in.”

Ryan Suter and Coyle scored second-period power-play goals, recently acquired Jason Pominville had a goal and assist, and Niklas Backstrom responded from being pulled Thursday in Los Angeles with a 24-save shutout, the 28th shutout of his career.

Backstrom set the tone early with a clutch save on Cam Atkinson’s attempted stuff and cruised from there. The NHL’s leader with 20 victories improved to 21-2-4 all-time in his first start after being pulled and 17-0-2 since March 26, 2008.

“What a great response by [Backstrom]. That’s what he does,” coach Mike Yeo said. “Just a solid game all around. We had everyone going. … What you saw tonight is what our game is supposed to look like.”

The Wild ended a three-game losing streak and avoided being shut out on its three-game road trip. It now returns home for an important three-game homestand with 10 games left in the regular season. The Wild moved back into sixth place in the Western Conference but more importantly moved six points ahead of the surging ninth-place Phoenix Coyotes.

The loss was a big blow to Todd Richards’ Blue Jackets, who got no spark in Marian Gaborik’s home debut. They’re now five points behind eighth-place Detroit.

The Wild got pucks deep, forechecked hard, exuded effort all over the ice, especially on four spotless penalty kills, and executed impressively from the back end.

“Nice to get back on the winning side of things,” said Pominville, who was surprised 45 minutes before warmups by his wife and two children, who drove in from Buffalo, N.Y. “Big surprise,” he said.

After a scoreless first period, the Wild dominated the second, outshooting Columbus 11-4 and drawing three power plays by using pure hustle. First, Torrey Mitchell stole a puck from Blake Comeau, who reacted by hooking Mitchell. Then Zach Parise beat out an icing en route to Mikko Koivu being tripped. Finally, Coyle skated through Vaclav Prospal’s check until the referee’s arm went up.

Suter, who topped 30 minutes of ice time for the fifth time this season, got things started by whistling a shot through traffic that beat red-hot goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

Later in the period, Coyle had a masterpiece shift. The 21-year-old rookie, who plays a mature game and is so good along the wall, kept possession in the offensive zone with a single-man forecheck to allow a wholesale line change after Koivu dumped the puck.

Moments later, Jared Spurgeon saved the zone after a Suter shot. Devin Setoguchi found the puck and fed it across for rookie Mikael Granlund, who set up a seeing-eye, one-time tap-in by Coyle. It was Coyle’s third goal in five games and first career power-play goal.

“Granny has eyes in the back of his head,” Coyle said.

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Wild 3, Columbus 0

    Sunday April 7, 2013

  • Shoulder surgery could speed Heatley's return

    Monday April 8, 2013

    Veteran goal scorer Dany Heatley stayed behind in Columbus on Sunday night because he will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder Tuesday in Cleveland.

  • Haula leaves U, signs two-year deal with Wild

    Monday April 8, 2013

    After leading the nation’s highest-scoring team in scoring the past two seasons, Erik Haula knew it was time for the next challenge.

  • Postgame: Big win for Wild; shoulder surgery for Heatley

    Sunday April 7, 2013

    The Wild snapped a three-game losing streak to move six points up on 9th-place Phoenix

  • Wild-Columbus game recap

    Sunday April 7, 2013

    GAME RECAPStar Tribune’sThree Stars1. Ryan Suter, Wild: Logged 31:07, scored the winning goal.2. Niklas Backstrom, Wild: After giving up two...

  • Minnesota's Pierre-Marc Bouchard (96) weavesdthrough the defense of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

  • Jason Pominville, right, celebrated his first Wild goal Sunday and got a surprise visit from his wife and children.

  • Charlie Coyle beat Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky for a second-period goal after a beauty of a pass from fellow Wild rookie Mikael Granlund.

  • Columbus left winger Matt Calvert, right, grabbed ahold of Wild center Mikko Koivu during the second period Sunday. The Wild moved up to sixth in the Western Conference with a 3-0 victory.

  • Minnesota Wild right wing Charlie Coyle (63) sneaks a goal past Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the second period at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, Sunday, April 7, 2013. The Minnesota Wild defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-0. (Eamon Queeney/Columbus Dispatch/MCT)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston - LP: B. Workman 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: G. Cole 3
Toronto - LP: A. Sanchez 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 3
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 2
Los Angeles - WP: P. Rodriguez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: N. Ramirez 4
Cleveland - WP: K. Crockett 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: S. Deduno 1
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Freeman 3
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 6 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 7
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 3 FINAL
San Diego - WP: R. Erlin 7
Seattle - WP: T. Wilhelmsen 3 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: K. Jepsen 1
Tampa Bay 14 FINAL
Atlanta 56
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 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 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
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 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
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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