Wild summons extra stamina in OT victory over Vancouver

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 1, 2014 - 1:51 AM

Justin Fontaine ended a shootout by scoring in the seventh round.

– 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.

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  • Vancouver Canucks' Brad Richardson, left, is tripped up by Minnesota Wild's Jonas Brodin, back right, of Sweden, in front of Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper as Wild's Kyle Brodziak, right, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 93 4th Qtr 0:48
Detroit 86
Milwaukee 98 4th Qtr 5:48
Miami 91
Memphis 54 3rd Qtr
Dallas 44
Chicago 9:30 PM
Golden State
Washington 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
NY Rangers 1 3rd Prd
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 2nd OT :00
Philadelphia 3
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 3rd Prd 11:40
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 3rd Prd 13:32
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 3rd Prd 13:00
Florida 3
Colorado 2 3rd Prd
Nashville 2
Buffalo 1 2nd Prd
Calgary 1
Minnesota 0 1st Prd 17:57
Edmonton 0
Anaheim 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 54 2nd Half 7:16
Evansville 67
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 28 1st Half 2:51
Alabama 18
Tennessee 28 1st Half 5:01
Arkansas 27
Texas A&M 25 1st Half 5:30
Auburn 24
Baylor 19 1st Half 2:45
Oklahoma State 23
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 23 1st Half 0:49
Utah State 27
Fresno State 19 1st Half 2:52
San Diego St 24
UNLV 9:00 PM
Nevada
SD Christian 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Colorado State 10:00 PM
Boise State
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Tulane 55 2nd Half 2:20
Houston 39
(3) Baylor 87 2nd Half 3:49
TCU 60
Valparaiso 40 2nd Half 1:18
Illinois-Chicago 56
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