Bouncing away: Wild's season ends with OT loss to Chicago

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 14, 2014 - 1:57 PM

A stupid stanchion.

The Wild’s season came to a sudden death Tuesday night because of a stupid stanchion.

“We were all kind of in shock that it happened,” Zach Parise said in a silent, stunned locker room after the Wild’s heartbreaking, season-ending 2-1 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. “It’s not the way you envision losing a series. It can’t get any worse than losing like that.”

Home-ice advantage had been so kind to the Wild all postseason, but the glass around the rink at Xcel Energy Center couldn’t have been more cruel midway through OT.

Chicago’s Brent Seabrook dumped the puck from center ice a few feet from the Blackhawks bench door solely so he could make a line change. But the puck hit a metal stanchion and ricocheted in front of the net and past Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

Ryan Suter quickly tied up Peter Regin. But after they overskated the puck, Patrick Kane, the playoff overtime master, roamed free of Matt Cooke and backhanded the puck right under the crossbar.

“If the luck finds me or the heavens above give me some blessings in overtime, I’ll keep taking it,” Kane said after his fourth career playoff overtime winner. “You know, it’s like Johnny [Toews] always finds a way to score game-winners.”

The arena, which had been rocking all night because of scintillating action and overwrought anxiety, came to a total hush with the reality that eight months after the Wild reported for training camp and 13 games into this exciting postseason, the Wild’s season was over.

“It just feels empty,” said Erik Haula, who scored the Wild’s only goal — a second-period tying goal on a breakaway. “I’m sure that goal will be in the back of my head for a long time. It’s a horrible way to end it.’’

“I heard it hit the stanchion. Next thing I see, it’s on Kane’s tape and he goes backhand shot, right under the bar,’’ Haula added. “I knew right away it was in. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe that’s how it ended.”

Trying desperately to force a Game  7, the Wild outchanced the Blackhawks again but couldn’t find a way to beat Corey Crawford beyond Haula’s goal — a play in which he turned on the afterburners and caught up to Cooke’s bank pass in the second period. It was Haula’s fifth point in six games this series and fourth goal of the playoffs, tying Parise and Mikael Granlund for the team lead.

Crawford made 26 of his 34 saves in the final two periods plus overtime. The Wild also hit a few pipes and had 21 shots blocked. The Parise-Granlund-Jason Pominville line flirted for a goal all night but couldn’t buy one.

“They’re a great team. Great teams get bounces sometimes,” Haula said. “I was just kind of waiting for us to get one, but it didn’t happen. It went the other way.”

The Blackhawks are 8-0 in Game 6 clinchers in the Jonathan Toews/Kane era, including a 6-0 mark on the road. The defending champs will play the winner of Anaheim and Los Angeles in the Western Conference Final.

“We saw how hard it is, and this time of the year how hard you have to play on a nightly basis,” Parise said. “We lost to a very good team, but it’s not as if we didn’t feel we could have won that series. We had our opportunities. It just didn’t go our way.”

Coach Mike Yeo, in the last year of his contract, was dejected postgame but proud of his team.

“This is a special group,” Yeo said. “Our guys did everything that we asked and they laid it on the line, and that’s what hurts. That’s what’s hard.

“I believe that we’ve created a culture here, an identity and an attitude and they should be proud of that, but it never ends. They just have to keep working … and build on it.”

The only noises in the postgame locker room were devastated players talking to reporters and the sound of tape being ripped off equipment.

“There’s always one team that’s happy at the end of the season. Disappointing to be ending right now,” Parise said.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 11 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland - LP: R. Cook 3 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: F. Salas 4
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8:00 PM
UNLV 9:30 PM
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question