Justin Fontaine ended a shootout by scoring in the seventh round.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – The Wild, aiming to make the playoffs for the second year in a row, capped off a productive two days Friday night.
Twenty-four hours after shutting out Edmonton, the Wild overcame clear fatigue in an intense battle by walking out of Rogers Arena with a 2-1 victory after a seven-round shootout against the Vancouver Canucks.
Justin Fontaine, on his first career shootout attempt, beat Eddie Lack on a head fake and shot between the legs. The rookie forward was the only one of 14 shooters to score in the extra, extra session.
That’s right, Darcy Kuemper, after a 3-0 shutout Thursday, wasn’t scored on by seven Canucks after making 30 saves through overtime.
“For him to stand tall the way he did, unbelievable,” defenseman Nate Prosser said. “He stepped up huge, especially in that shootout. He was a machine.”
Added Fontaine, “That’s a win for him.”
The western Canadian sweep helped the Wild, stationed in the first of two wild card spots in the West, gain a seven-point cushion on a playoff spot.
In a hard-fought, tight-checking battle, the Wild had to hang on in the third, showing signs of a team that played the night before. It had one shot in the first 17 minutes, with virtually every moment of the period spent in Kuemper’s zone.
“We were tired, but mentally we stayed into it and didn’t make that mistake that was going to hurt us,” Kuemper said.
It wasn’t helped by a washed-out goal by a referee Brad Meier in the first period, a call an NHL official admitted was wrong.
And in overtime, Kuemper and penalty killers Matt Cooke, Kyle Brodziak and Prosser had to kill off a boarding penalty to Zach Parise, who scored the lone Minnesota goal that counted in regulation.
“Fortunately we got through it,” said Brodziak.
It was another strong effort by Kuemper, who is now 10-2-2 in his past 15 starts. As has been reported, the Wild is likely in the market for a goalie.
Buffalo’s Ryan Miller was traded Friday to St. Louis in a package that included goalie Jaroslav Halak. There was much speculation afterward that the Sabres would try to flip him to Minnesota.
The Wild indicated that it doesn’t have much interest in Halak. It’s believed the Wild has inquired about Carolina’s Cam Ward and New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur and has been offered Ilya Bryzgalov by Edmonton.
General Manager Chuck Fletcher said Friday night no trade was imminent, and with Kuemper playing so well, it’ll be interesting to see how Fletcher proceeds.
Coach Mike Yeo was proud of his team, which battled hard right from the opening faceoff. He lauded the team’s “mental toughness” for overcoming Ryan Kesler’s shorthanded goal five minutes into the game, then a shocking disallowed goal soon after.
In one of the most inexplicable calls you’ll ever see, Keith Ballard redeemed himself from a mishap on the shortie by wiring a shot through Erik Haula’s screen. But Meier thought he saw incidental contact between Haula and Lack.
|Minnesota||20||4th Qtr 6:39|
|Baltimore||7||4th Qtr 14:54|
|Detroit||17||4th Qtr 5:34|
|Cleveland||13||4th Qtr 7:07|
|Atlanta||20||4th Qtr 5:48|
|Green Bay||20||4th Qtr 1:58|
|Kansas City||9||4th Qtr 4:04|
|New England||17||4th Qtr 4:03|
|NY Giants||3:05 PM|
|Denver||12/22/14 7:30 PM|
|New York||2||1st Qtr 9:59|
|LA Lakers||5:00 PM|
|New Orleans||6:00 PM|
|Holy Cross||45||2nd Half 1:20|
|Western Carolina||54||2nd Half 5:09|
|Creighton||44||2nd Half 3:53|
|Maryland||64||2nd Half 3:39|
|Cornell||52||2nd Half 5:29|
|Vermont||44||2nd Half 2:13|
|Loyola-Maryland||44||2nd Half 3:12|
|Reinhardt||62||2nd Half 7:02|
|Ark-Little Rock||46||2nd Half 0:19|
|TX-Pan American||60||2nd Half 5:23|
|Alabama State||60||2nd Half 7:27|
|FIU||51||2nd Half 9:59|
|Goshen||30||2nd Half 15:19|
|Bryant||19||1st Half 2:11|
|Austin Peay||19||1st Half 2:58|
|Tennessee St||18||1st Half 5:10|
|South Dakota||31||1st Half 1:59|
|ULM||7||1st Half 13:50|
|Coker||5||1st Half 14:54|
|Northern Ariz||3:00 PM|
|SD Christian||3:00 PM|
|UC Irvine||3:30 PM|
|Seton Hall||5:00 PM|
|Appalachian St||5:30 PM|
|North Dakota St||6:00 PM|
|San Jose St||6:00 PM|
|Alcorn State||8:00 PM|
|Sacramento St||9:00 PM|
|BYU||12/22/14 1:00 PM|
|Marshall||12/23/14 5:00 PM|
|Navy||12/23/14 8:30 PM|
|San Diego St|
|Central Mich||12/24/14 11:00 AM|
|Fresno State||12/24/14 7:00 PM|
|Illinois||12/26/14 12:00 PM|
|Rutgers||12/26/14 3:30 PM|
|NC State||12/26/14 7:00 PM|
|Cincinnati||12/27/14 12:00 PM|
|Duke||12/27/14 1:10 PM|
|(15) Arizona State|
|Miami-Florida||12/27/14 3:00 PM|
|Boston College||12/27/14 3:30 PM|
|(25) Nebraska||12/27/14 7:00 PM|
|(1) South Carolina||84|
|Mount St Marys||49|
|William & Mary||51|
|South Dakota St||64||FINAL|
|(5) Notre Dame||64|
|(4) Texas A&M||65|
|Coll of Charleston||72|
|South Florida||58||2nd Half 9:05|
|Sam Houston St||51||2nd Half 0:33|
|Evansville||45||2nd Half 4:27|
|(14) Maryland||110||2nd Half 0:57|
|NC A&T||35||2nd Half 6:00|
|Princeton||82||2nd Half 2:12|
|Eastern Illinois||67||2nd Half 0:24|
|Rider||65||2nd Half 1:55|
|SC State||51||2nd Half 0:59|
|Fairfield||56||2nd Half 2:39|
|Richmond||70||2nd Half 0:49|
|Cleveland State||76||2nd Half 0:29|
|Kent State||58||2nd Half 1:53|
|Youngstown St||37||2nd Half 7:47|
|NJIT||43||2nd Half 5:08|
|Davidson||40||2nd Half 4:17|
|Indiana State||31||2nd Half 18:31|
|Southern U||20||2nd Half 16:47|
|Wright State||29||2nd Half 13:08|
|(19) Oklahoma St||25||1st Half 1:57|
|Houston||21||1st Half 0:46|
|Ark-Little Rock||23||1st Half 3:33|
|Northern Ariz||13||1st Half 3:05|
|UNC-Asheville||11||1st Half 10:52|
|North Dakota||28||1st Half 3:35|
|Western Ill||25||1st Half 3:11|
|Elon||30||1st Half 3:58|
|(6) North Carolina||38|
|Ball State||20||1st Half 3:59|
|(8) Kentucky||19||1st Half 3:12|
|New Orleans||14||1st Half 2:24|
|Chicago State||27||1st Half 0:12|
|Bowling Green||34||1st Half 2:50|
|Ill-Springfield||15||1st Half 9:44|
|SE Missouri St||15|
|Northern Ill||14||1st Half 1:12|
|(23) Iowa||36||1st Half 4:02|
|Central Michigan||5||1st Half 15:56|
|Western Carolina||5||1st Half 14:29|
|Cal Poly||3:00 PM|
|No Dakota State||3:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Idaho State||3:00 PM|
|(18) Michigan State||3:00 PM|
|Fresno State||4:00 PM|
|St Francis-PA||4:00 PM|
|(10) Louisville||4:00 PM|
|(21) Miss State|