The Wild certainly discovered a workable formula in racking up six goals and a season-high 40 shots in its Tuesday win over the Senators in Ottawa.
But not every aspect of that victory is worth duplicating Friday when the team resumes action against the Panthers.
“I think we want to play a lot like we played against Ottawa but without allowing the four goals,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “These [Panthers] shoot the puck an awful lot, and I think they lead the league in shots on goal. So we gotta come back as five, and we gotta protect the house in front of the net.”
Not becoming vulnerable defensively will be key, but the back end can also play an important role in the offense. The unit was involved in that 6-4 win against the Senators, scoring twice and assisting on three others, and that’s a trend Boudreau hopes persists.
“I thought it was the defensemen shooting the puck,” Boudreau said about what he liked most from the offensive outburst Tuesday. “This is the first time all year we got 40 shots on goal going from low to high and then getting to the net was I think a really big proponent of why we were getting goals and that's why defensemen were getting them or were in on the scoring. I think that’s something we have to continue.”
Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund
Nino Niederreiter-Eric Staal-Charlie Coyle
Daniel Winnik-Joel Eriksson Ek-Chris Stewart
Marcus Foligno-Matt Cullen-Tyler Ennis
Ryan Suter- Matt Dumba
Jonas Brodin-Jared Spurgeon
Mike Reilly-Nate Prosser
1-3: The Wild’s record in the first game of a back-to-back.
555: Blocked shots by the Wild, ranking second in the NHL.
1,400: Career game for center Matt Cullen tonight.
34: Points in 34 games for Panthers center Vincent Trocheck.
.936: Save percentage for Florida goalie James Reimer over his last five games.
About the Panthers:
The Panthers return home to begin a four-game homestand after a 2-2-1 road trip. They’re coming off a 3-2 comeback win Tuesday over the Coyotes, the team’s first regulation win since Dec.7. Overall, Florida is third from the bottom in the Eastern Conference with 31 points. Trocheck has had a solid season so far, leading the team in goals (13) and points (34). Reimer has taken over the crease with Roberto Luongo injured (lower body), and Reimer is 7-9-4 with a .901 save percentage and 3.38 goals-against average.