The Wild Beat Logo

Blog

The Wild Beat

Postgame: Wild goalie Dubnyk 'sore' after collision in loss to Capitals

When Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk peeled off his equipment and sat at his locker stall, he could still feel the aftermath of a collision from late in the first period Tuesday.

“I’m probably going to feel that one for a while,” said Dubnyk, describing his condition as “sore.”

With just 28 seconds left in the opening frame, Dubnyk was plowed over by Capitals forward Tom Wilson and defenseman Ryan Suter after Wilson deflected in a centering feed from defenseman Dmitry Orlov – a tough sequence that kept the Wild in chase mode in an eventual 5-2 loss at Xcel Energy Center.

“He apologized,” Dubnyk said. “Obviously, he didn’t mean to do it. He’s trying to score a goal. It is what it is.”

Wilson was penalized for goalie interference but with the puck crossing the line before the contact, the goal was unaffected.

It was Wilson’s first goal of the season, as this was his return to action after he was suspended for the start of the season for an illegal check to the head in the preseason – a 20-game ban that was reduced to 14 Tuesday, making Wilson eligible to play against the Wild.

“The puck went in the net before he touched the goalie, so there wasn’t much you could do about it,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “That’s the way he plays.”

The Wild still had plenty of opportunity to erase the impact of Wilson’s goal – missed chances that underscored the loss.

There was the momentum swing after captain Mikko Koivu’s goal in the second, which immediately spiked once winger Marcus Foligno dropped his gloves on the ensuing faceoff to fight Wilson.

“He runs into Duby, so you want to stand up for your teammate,” Foligno said. “Thought it was the right time. Obviously, we got a step closer with the goal. So just a good time to do it.”

It was during the latter part of the second that the Wild had its best push, challenging Capitals goalie Pheonix Copley to make a handful of clutch saves.

Had one of those pucks found a way in, the Wild may have been able to orchestrate a comeback.

“We were fired up,” winger Charlie Coyle said. “Then you can't convert and at that point, you've gotta stay positive. Yu know it's gonna come. We build that momentum, and you can't let it die down. You just have to do whatever you can. If you're not putting them in the back of the net, just getting those opportunities and working. I guess we got away from it.”

Although the Wild did receive a power-play goal from defenseman Matt Dumba late in the third, it blanked on five other chances – opportunities that, again, could have trimmed its deficit.

“The pucks were hitting [Copley], and there was rebounds there,” Boudreau said. “But we just weren’t getting to them.”

Homecoming letdown? Playing Caps should keep Wild focused tonight

The Wild is in the midst of its best run of the season fresh off a 5-2 showing on the road, but sustaining that rhythm now that it’s back home will be a challenge – one that begins Tuesday when the team hosts the defending Stanley-Cup champion Capitals.

 

 

“They always say your first game home after a long road trip isn’t good because you come home and you got your whole family to take care of and do a lot of stuff with,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Friends want to come and watch games, so the focus isn’t like on the road. So we’ve made that well-aware, and hopefully that won’t happen to us.”

Facing Washington should help refocus the Wild.

Not only are the Capitals the reigning champs, but they’re poised to get forward Tom Wilson back in the lineup after his 20-game suspension for an illegal check to the head was reduced Tuesday to 14 games.

“We’re not playing a junior team,” Boudreau said. “We’re playing the best team in the league, and no matter what their record is they are what they are until somebody knocks them off their perch and we haven’t been able to do that in the last two years. So it’s a great challenge for us. They get another piece of the puzzle back, so they’ll be excited with Wilson coming back for them tonight.”

Being rested could also be key; after returning to the Twin Cities following the 3-2 win over the Blues Sunday afternoon, the Wild had Monday off – a decision Boudreau made because he thought the time off would reenergize the roster.

“It was a great trip for us for sure,” he said. “But now we need to continue what we’re doing at home and hopefully our game doesn’t change too much.”

Projected lineup:

Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Nino Niederreiter

Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Mikael Granlund

Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Charlie Coyle

Marcus Foligno-Eric Fehr-J.T. Brown

Ryan Suter- Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin-Jared Spurgeon

Nick Seeler-Greg Pateryn

Devan Dubnyk

Key numbers:

10-2: The Wild’s record in its last 12 games.

5-0-2: How the Wild has fared on home ice this season.

8: Wins when the Wild gives up the first goal of the game.

1.80: Goalie Devan Dubnyk’s goals-against average in his last nine starts.

31: Penalty kills for the Wild in its last 35 shorthanded situations.

About the Capitals:

The Capitals are off to a ho-hum start this season after their Stanley Cup run. They’ve dropped two straight and are 7-6-3 overall. In its last two losses, Washington has been outscored 6-2. Captain Alex Ovechkin leads the team in goals with 12, while center Evgeny Kuznetsov has a team-high 20 points. The Capitals have won seven straight against the Wild.

Final, 11/13 1 2 3 F
Washington 8-6-3 2 1 2 5
Minnesota 11-5-2 0 1 1 2

NHL Scoreboard

  • Pittsburgh

    New Jersey

     

    - F

    2

    4

  • Vancouver

    NY Islanders

     

    - F

    2

    5

  • Florida

    Philadelphia

     

    - F

    2

    1

  • Tampa Bay

    Buffalo

     

    - F

    1

    2

  • Arizona

    Detroit

     

    - F

    1

    6

  • Washington

    Minnesota

     

    - F

    5

    2

  • Montreal

    Edmonton

     

    - F

    2

    6

  • Toronto

    Los Angeles

     

    - End 2nd

    5

    1

  • Nashville

    San Jose

     

    - End 2nd

    3

    3