“Doooooooooo” reverberated around Xcel Energy Center on Thursday night.
Picking up right where he left off two nights earlier in Chicago, Devan Dubnyk was as focused as ever during a 28-save, 1-0 Wild shutout of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Coincidentally, earlier in the day, Dubnyk was asked if Oilers fans also sounded off with a loud “Doooooooooo” after he stopped pucks.
“Kinda,” Dubnyk said, before smiling. “You never knew which one it was though. Some fans used a D in front, some a B.”
Wild fans have used the “D” since Dubnyk was acquired from the Coyotes in January. Last season, he saved the Wild’s bacon by providing stability in net, led Minnesota into the postseason for a third consecutive season, won the Masterton Trophy and became a Vezina Trophy finalist.
This year, Dubnyk has been up and down, but he’s still tied for second in the NHL with 13 wins and has a league-leading four shutouts. He has stopped 58 of 59 shots the past two games after allowing 35 goals in his previous 13 starts.
“I tried to relax a little bit and keep things small,” Dubnyk said. “When things aren’t always going your way, you start to slide toward thinking about the end result of the game and you get away [from things] right down to just being set and pushing and stopping and having those feet set.
“I was able to get back to that the last couple games.”
Of the five Wild goalies who have won 40 games, Dubnyk is the fastest (61 games). Nine of his 18 career shutouts have come with the Wild, and four of the Wild’s 19 all-time 1-0 wins were with Dubnyk in net.
Of course, this latest one was nearly spoiled with four minutes left when Toronto’s Peter Holland scored. But coach Mike Yeo challenged that the Maple Leafs were offside coming into the zone, and after review, linesmen Brian Murphy and Brad Kovachik determined that Holland, tangled with Ryan Suter, indeed couldn’t hold the line as Toronto entered the Wild end.
“We could tell from the bench,” Wild winger Zach Parise said. “We were yelling, ‘Offside!’ as soon as they crossed the blue line.”
This is the first season coach’s challenges can be implemented for offside and goalie interference, and it was the first victorious one in four Wild challenges.
“I told the guys,” Dubnyk joked, “this was the rare one-goal-against shutout. You don’t see it too often.”
Defenseman Matt Dumba, two games after Yeo challenged him “pretty hard,” scored the game’s lone goal on a power play as the Wild, which hosts Colorado in the front end of a home-and-home on Saturday, stopped a three-game home winless streak and has its first overall winning streak since Nov. 10 and 12.
Dumba scorched a one-timer by a helpless James Reimer midway through the second period for his third goal of the season, ending an 11-game drought.
“Perfectly placed by Jerry,” Dumba said of Jared Spurgeon’s pass. “We practice it a lot in practice. It just went smooth tonight.”
Reimer, who missed three games with an injury, showed the Wild how he entered with a 2.07 goals-against average and .934 save percentage. He was outstanding, making 23 of his 27 saves in the first and third periods.
The Maple Leafs played tight defensively, clogged up the neutral zone and pressured hard.
“It was really frustrating,” Parise said. “Not a lot of action, pretty dull. It wasn’t pretty by any means. We didn’t play that great, but we won the game.”