Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Postgame: Brodin shines in Wild's third consecutive win

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild game coverage Updated: October 14, 2013 - 10:50 PM

In his return tonight to Buffalo, former Sabres captain Jason Pominville scored the eventual winning goal on a power play with 9.7 seconds left in the second period to lift Minnesota to a 2-1 win tonight.

Good evening from Buffalo, where I’m about to be at the border. This is going to be a quick blog because my body never agrees with me typing and driving. In a rarity, I’m on the team’s media bus with some of the broadcasters and trainers as we follow the Wild’s bus to Toronto.

Yes, hitching a ride for Tuesday’s game at Toronto.

The Wild won its third in a row tonight, all with Josh Harding in net. Kyle Brodziak scored one goal 5:23 in and after a frustrating second period in which the Sabres clogged the neutral zone and the Wild had trouble passing through.

“Kinda took the life out of the game,” said Zach Parise.

The Wild wasn’t overly pleased with how it executed through the traffic jam tonight, but two points is two points, especially when the team arguably deserved better its first three games.

The Wild is now 3-1-2 before visiting Toronto on Tuesday night. I’ll be on KFAN at 9 a.m. Tuesday and if you get TSN, I’m at least right now scheduled to be on Off the Record in the afternoon. This depends on Wild availability at least right now,

As difficult as it was to skate through the middle of the ice, the Wild scored a gorgeous winning power-play goal in the waning seconds of the second. Seven passes up the middle of the ice before Mikko Koivu and Pominville executed a give-and-go for the Pominville winner.

See the gamer for quotes, but it was the former Buffalo captain’s 22nd career winning goal, second in Minnesota and 93rd career goal at First Niagara Center. It was a special goal for a popular teammate.

Jonas Brodin had a tremendous game tonight. Assisted on Brodziak’s goal, and coach Mike Yeo said there were two clips that could go right into the Wild’s systems video – 1, his retrieval when the human breakout gathered the puck behind the net and accelerated out, then his overall execution. When pressured by Cody Hodgson, Brodin gave it to Brodziak, wheeled forward and took the puck back. He gave it to Matt Cooke over the blue line, who fed Brodziak for the goal after Brodin crashed the net and distracted Jhonas Enroth.

But Yeo felt Brodin’s overall game was “strong everywhere,” which couldn’t be more accurate. The kid is ridiculously good. He’s 20, remember. Five points in six games after 11 last year.

Keith Ballard took a puck to the face and was lost for most the third. Then when Clayton Stoner took a roughing penalty, the Wild had to rotate three defensemen – Brodin, Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon – during a huge penalty kill. I’d suspect Marco Scandella plays in Toronto. Ballard should be fine, Yeo said. Maybe he plays for Stoner, who got clocked in a fight, was lost for much of the first after and then returned to have an up and down game with rookie Matt Dumba.

That’s it for me. Getting car sick. Talk Tuesday.

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