Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk remembers three or four scenarios in his career where he’s been bumped into in the exact same manner that winger Zach Parise caught a piece of Blues goalie Jake Allen: where the player is stationed outside the blue paint while the goalie in his crease.
“I’ve been told word for word that the player was in the white ice, so he was where he needed to be,” Dubnyk said.
But that wasn’t how the ruling came down Saturday.
After the Wild went up 4-2 late in the second period on a shot by captain Mikko Koivu that clipped St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko en route to the net, the goal was overturned once the Blues challenged for goaltender interference – a review that decided Parise elbowed Allen, preventing Allen’s “ability to play his position.”
Not only did the determination take away an insurance goal for the Wild, it completely altered the course of the game since the reigning Stanley Cup champs rallied for a 4-3 overtime win at Xcel Energy Center.
“That’s a joke,” Dubnyk said. “I’ve said it over and over, the decisions you see made on the reviews, you just never know what you’re getting. That’s probably the worst I’ve seen since they brought the review in.”
This wasn’t the only sequence to go against the Wild.
Before the Blues tied it at 3, Sammy Blais – the goal scorer – took down winger Luke Kunin but wasn’t penalized.
But momentum began to turn against the Wild with the goalie interference review.
“Just look at the reaction of the goalie,” Dubnyk said. “If there’s true interference, you’re going to see a reaction of the goalie and there was nothing. … The guys are working as hard as they are to put pucks in the net. They do everything right. We get the puck up high. We hit the high guy. Zach’s doing a great job in front of the net, goes off of somebody and in the net and everything you draw up and it gets pulled off the board.
“It’s disheartening. Sometimes you can just keep going, and sometimes it’s hard and they made a push. It’s too bad. We’re working as hard as we are, and I feel like we got a bit of the short end in that one tonight.”
While Dubnyk’s disagreement with the call was shared by teammates and coach Bruce Boudreau, there was also a sentiment that the Wild must find a way to persevere regardless.
“You can’t rely on one iffy play to win or lose the game,” Parise said.
Allen seemed to be fighting the puck early, but the Wild capitalized only once – on winger Marcus Foligno’s goal barely two minutes into the game before the Blues recovered and scored twice to take a 2-1 lead into the intermission.
Had the Wild scored a second or third goal after Foligno’s tally, maybe those calls wouldn’t have mattered.
“That would have been more of an ideal setup,” Parise said. “But they won for a reason. They know how to weather the storm. They know how to shift momentum in a game. That’s what they did tonight. I felt like they hung on. They hung around. We got a tough call against us, and then I think they took over.”
More offense was another topic on the mind of players after the game, but winger Mats Zuccarello has found a rhythm of late – especially with center Eric Staal.
Zuccarello scored his second in as many games, a one-timer on the power play off a cross-slot pass by Staal to make it 3-2. With the assist, Staal extended his point streak to four games – a span in which he has five points. In his last seven games, Staal has nine points.
“Even I can’t miss that,” Zuccarello said of Staal’s pass.
Next up for the Wild is a four-game road trip out west with stops in Anaheim, San Jose, Arizona and Los Angeles. The team is off Sunday and will practice Monday before traveling to California.
The Wild has discussed bringing defenseman Greg Pateryn on the trip. Pateryn has been out the entire season after undergoing core muscle surgery,
“I’m assuming that we’ll know tomorrow what we’re doing with him,” Boudreau said.