BOSTON – Charlie Coyle, who grew up 25 minutes from Boston (“without traffic”), finally scored his first career goal against the team he rooted for as a kid Tuesday night.
“It’s a long time coming,” said the Weymouth, Mass., native, playing the Bruins for the seventh time. “Everyone is always on me, cousins, saying, ‘Hey, you going to score this time?’ It’s nice to get it out of the way.”
As Coyle celebrated the first of the Wild’s four-second period goals, you would have thought the game was being played at Xcel Energy Center, not TD Garden.
That’s how loud Coyle’s friends and family members were before the Wild went on to rout the Bruins and their two minor league callup goaltenders, 5-0.
“I thought I heard a few cheers. I kind of knew where that was coming from,” Coyle said.
Coyle and Chris Stewart, who was in the midst of a tough road trip, scored 12 seconds apart to break a scoreless tie, then Ryan Suter and Jason Zucker added goals as the Wild, which leads the NHL with 15 second-period tallies, skated to its first road win.
“That first period was ugly,” Suter said. “We thought it was going to be a long night if we kept playing like that. We knew that we had more.”
The Wild did, dominating the second period and rattling young Malcolm Subban.
Zucker finished with three points. In his third NHL game, linemate Joel Eriksson Ek recorded his first three assists of his NHL career, his first career multi-point game.
Teammates can’t get over how a 19-year-old drafted in the first round only two years ago has been able to step in so impressively. By 26 days, he’s the second youngest in Wild history to post three points in a game (Marian Gaborik, 2001). They do give him grief on the bench though for being so quiet and shy.
“They’re just chatting along with me,” said Eriksson Ek, who scored in his NHL debut Saturday in New Jersey.
Coach Bruce Boudreau hasn’t been paying attention to the bench chatter because “I couldn’t even get his name out. I was calling him, Yool, Joel, Ekky, Erik. Then somebody called him a name and that’ll probably stick.”
From the sounds of it, it was, “Ekker.”
Jason Pominville also scored a third-period goal and Devan Dubnyk made 27 saves for his first shutout of the season, 11th with the Wild and 20th of his career.
The Wild, which has boasted balanced scoring with a league-most 16 goal scorers, is 13-4-2 all-time against Bruins and 8-2 all-time in Boston. It was the Bruins’ most lopsided shutout loss at home since 2006.
With Bruins goalies Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin injured, Boston was forced to call up Providence’s Subban and Zane McIntyre. Subban, 22, the younger brother of Nashville Predators star P.K. Subban, had only one previous NHL start under his belt. He was yanked two seasons ago in St. Louis and was again this time.
After Coyle’s third goal of the season, Christian Folin dumped the puck off the ensuing faceoff and Zucker and Eriksson Ek sprinted in on the forecheck. The puck squirted to the front, and Stewart, who had angered Boudreau his previous shift with a turnover, roofed a beauty.
The goals 12 seconds apart were one second off the Wild’s road record set in 2006 by Mattias Weinhandl and Wes Walz.
Later, 5 seconds into a power play, Suter made the Bruins pay for a cross-checking penalty.
That ended Subban’s night and began the NHL career of McIntyre, the Thief River Falls native and former University of North Dakota goalie. Zucker greeted him by redirecting Suter’s shot for his first goal of the season.
“That’s the way we need to play every game, especially on the road,” Zucker said.