Yes, Wild coach Mike Yeo would like to see better team defense than what he’s seen for a good bit of this young season. But, again in Friday’s 5-4 victory over Chicago at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild did what it’s already done a lot of this season:
Rallied when things didn’t go their way. “What we have been absolutely outstanding at is, when there have been momentum shifts that have gone against us, we’ve collected ourselves and gotten back to our game,” Yeo said.
Happened a couple times tonight. After Jason Zucker had scored on the game’s first shift for the second time this week, the Wild allowed a short-handed goal , then a power-play goal to fall behind 2-1.
But the Wild scored the next three goals, including Jared Spurgeon’s power-play goal early in the second to go up 4-2.
Then, after a couple defensive lapses allowed the Hawks to tie the game, the Wild got Nino Niederreiter’s goal 32 seconds into the third period, then the Wild – and Devin Dubnyk – shut out Chicago the rest of the way.
The Wild is now 5-0 at home, the first time in franchise history Minnesota has opened a season with five straight home wins in regulation.
Here are some other stats/thoughts on the night:
--Once again the line of Mikko Koivu (three assists), Zucker and Niederreiter was very, very good. Koivu had three assists. Zucker had a goal and an assist. And Niederreiter – who led the team with five game winners last season -- got his first of this season tonight.
--For Koivu, it’s eight straight games with a point, a career high. It was his 12th career three-plus assist game and his 26th three-plus point night. He has three goals and nine points in that eight-game streak.
--It was Zucker’s sixth career multi-point game. And he now has a career-high five-game point streak.
--Ryan Suter, who had an assist tonight, now has 31 points in 58 career games vs. Chicago.
--Charlie Coyle has scored a goal in consecutive games and five points in 10 games this season.
--If you watched the game, you saw the hit that Chicago’s Andrew Desjardins put on Justin Fontaine early in the second period. Fontaine was skating along the blue line when Desjardins appeared to lunge at him, clipping him and sending Fontaine to the ice. He needed help getting to the locker room and is, according to Yeo, “week to week’’ with a lower body injury.
Asked if he thought the 2-minute tripping call was correct, here’s what Yeo said: “You don’t like a knee-on-knee hit,” he said. So, I know it’s a tough one for the refs, and I kind of understood what they were saying. But certainly I felt it warranted a 5-minute major.’’
Jordan Schroeder will be recalled from Iowa for Saturday night's game.