Three pucks crossed the goal line. But only one counted. And it didn’t belong to the Wild.
After having a goal-against wiped off the board, the Wild had one of its own tallies annulled.
It was a tough break that looked like it was going to sink the team — until a fortuitous bounce flipped the script and helped the team collect a point in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Bruins on Sunday in front of an announced 19,183 at Xcel Energy Center.
The result extended the Wild’s point streak to five and partly cashed in on the game at-hand it had over the Avalanche, as this upped its lead for the third seed in the Central Division to three points with each team having seven games left.
“We’re not getting anywhere fast getting a point here and a point there,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “But I think we’re going in the right direction.”
Boston’s Brad Marchand resolved the extra period only 28 seconds in with a blistering shot over Alex Stalock’s glove, his 33rd goal of the season and fifth in OT. It snuffed out a Wild rally that started 9 minutes, 20 seconds into the third when a Matt Dumba shot caromed off the end boards and into the crease. There, captain Mikko Koivu was in position to direct it by goalie Tuukka Rask and tie the game at 1-1 — a sign the Wild’s puck luck was changing.
“They’re a difficult team to play against because they’re in your face all night long,” Boudreau said.
Early in the second period, the Bruins appeared to sprout a lead when Noel Acciari wired the puck over Stalock. But since Stalock was knocked down by Riley Nash, the goal was taken away because of goaltender interference.
Shortly after, the Bruins scored again — and this time the goal stood. David Pastrnak one-timed a feed from center Patrice Bergeron just inside the post 3:15 into the second.
Later in the period, the Wild started a scramble in front of Boston’s net and after the whistle blew, Jason Zucker tucked the puck into an open side.
The goal was immediately waved off, but the sequence was still reviewed; the NHL announced the situation room initiated the examination, wanting to see if the puck crossed the goal line. But with the on-ice official calling the play dead, the league explained, the play was not reviewable.
The Wild, however, was given a different explanation. “The whistle-blowing thing was not sent back to me,” Boudreau said. “The one official said that [Eric] Staal pushed his pad in. That’s why it was no goal. I said, ‘Can I challenge that?’ And he said, ‘No.’ And I don’t understand that, but that’s what he told me.”
After blanking on two power-play chances, the Wild finally had a goal stand up amid Koivu’s effort. But Boston pushed back in OT.
“This time of year teams are really buckling down, especially playoff teams,” Stalock said. “They’re playing the way they want to play in two or three weeks. That’s a playoff team again tonight, and I think you see how tight games are going to be. It’s a bounce here or there. That’s the difference.”