MONTREAL – The list of opportunities the Wild could bemoan was growing.
There was the three-minute power play early in the first period after Eric Fehr was crushed into the boards that was ineffective.
Eric Staal had a breakaway that didn’t result in a shot on net.
Same with Jason Zucker.
“I thought, ‘Here we go again,’ ” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said.
But the Wild received yet another glorious chance, and this time it didn’t miss.
Mikael Granlund capitalized on a Canadiens turnover and Devan Dubnyk posted 32 saves for his first shutout of the season in holding off Montreal 1-0 on Monday in front of 20,601 at Bell Centre — a decision that improved the Wild to 3-0 on its four-game road trip and swung it back into a playoff spot after closing out the first half of its season.
“You always hope for those,” Granlund said. “We gave ourselves a few chances before that but finally went in, and we were defending pretty good. Obviously, Duby was great [in] the net again. Big road win.”
Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry’s errant pass in his own zone went right to Granlund, who skated through the middle before wiring a shot by goaltender Carey Price 6 minutes, 58 seconds into the third period.
The goal ended a 15-game goalless skid for Granlund and notched his team-leading 39th point of the season, easing the sting from the string of close calls the Wild couldn’t convert earlier.
“We were getting our chances, for sure,” Dubnyk said. “Pucks were bouncing, and we couldn’t seem to get a shot on net on him. But we just stuck with it.”
What made the perseverance even more impressive is the Wild finished the game shorthanded.
Only 2:28 into the first, Fehr smacked his head on the top of the boards in front of the Wild’s bench after the veteran center absorbed a late shoulder check from Kenny Agostino.
“It was obviously dirty and late, and you just can’t have that,” winger Marcus Foligno said.
Fehr was slow to stand up and when he did, he was escorted off the ice with a towel to his head.
Boudreau didn’t have an update on Fehr’s status after the game and said the team would mull over its options of filling out its lineup Tuesday against the Bruins during the road-trip finale in Boston if Fehr is unable to play. The Wild could tab forward Matt Hendricks, but Boudreau also believes the team has enough time to make a call-up if needed.
In the aftermath of the hit, defenseman Nick Seeler fought Agostino — who, aside from a five-minute fighting major, was issued a five-minute penalty for interference and game misconduct. Seeler was assessed a two-minute minor for instigating, a five-minute fighting major and a 10-minute misconduct.
“I figured it wasn’t the best hit,” Seeler said. “So I thought it was a good time to step in.”
After coming up empty on the ensuring power play, the Wild committed three penalties and despite missing one of its top penalty killers in Fehr, the unit was able to withstand the Canadiens’ pressure; each team went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
That set the stage for a back-and-forth goalie duel that the Wild, familiar with outlasting its opposition in recent games, ultimately prevailed in to snag its fourth victory in its last five tries.
“We’re a veteran team, and we’ve got to be a little patient,” Granlund said. “We have to defend well and wait for your chances, and we’ve been doing that for this trip. We know we need to get on a run, and we’re on one. So just got to keep it going.”