Shutout streak records galore were shattered tonight as the Wild improved to a division-best 6-2-1 record (4-0 at home, league-best 32 goals with a league-most 18 goals scorers after 22 all of last season, league-best 24 for 25 on the penalty kill).
Carly Peters and the Wild’s crack PR team put together this easy to read guide after Saturday’s 4-0 Wild win over Dallas.
Wild Goalie Devan Dubnyk:
With a current shutout streak of 180:00, he set a new career-high shutout streak 6:50 into the third period, surpassing his previous career-long 166:49 (3/25-4/1/13). He now has shutouts in a career-high three consecutive games, previously only posting back-to-back shutouts (2/3-2/7/15).
He also sets a Wild franchise record for longest individual shutout streak surpassing:
163:46 – Darcy Kuemper (10/9-10/17/14)
This calendar week (Sun.-Sat.), he was perfect: 3-0-0, stopping 94-of-94 shots (games Tue., Thur., Sat.)
Minnesota has posted a shutout in a franchise-record three straight games. Prior to this current streak, the previous record was two games – occurring seven times, most recently 12/3-12/5/15. Noteably, the Wild had three of these seven from 2002-03 through 2013-14, and posted the other four since 2013-14.
Franchise-record team shutout streak: 181:43 (180:00 + Kuemper’s 1:43 from end of Sunday’s game in Brooklyn)
Dubnyk is 4-0-1 with a 0.80 GAA, .975 SV% and three shutouts in his last five games, stopping 155-of-159 shots faced. He is 5-1-1 with a 1.43 GAA, a .952 SV% and three shutouts in seven games this season, ranking first amongst NHL goalies in shutouts, fourth in GAA and fifth in SV%
Mikael Granlund got things started in the first period.
Defenseman Christian Folin, a team-best plus-9, forced a turnover by Jason Spezza from the corner to Granlund in the slot. Instead of clearing the zone, Granlund fed Mikko Koivu to his left and then hit the jets to turn a 2-on-2 into a 2-on-1.
After a beautiful toe drag in the Dallas end by Koivu, Granlund got ahead of Tyler Seguin, pulled Lehtonen out of his net and buried his first goal of the season and second career shorthanded goal. It was the fifth straight game the Wild struck first.
“It was great. It was dead stop, too,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It wasn't the puck coming around the boards and they tip it by and go. They knock the puck out of the air and from there it was a dead stop and I thought it was a beautiful play.”
But after a terrible one-shot, two-hit second that brought its shot total up to seven after two periods, Boudreau went loco, he scrambled his lines and the Wild responded.
Nino Niederreiter made it 2-0, Eric Staal, on his 32nd birthday, one-timed a Ryan Suter pass for a power-play goal and Tyler Graovac buried a beautiful pass from Jason Zucker for his first NHL goal. Christoph Bertschy got his first NHL point on the goal.
Graovac and Bertschy, whom Boudreau called perhaps the Wild’s best forwards, were reassigned to Iowa after the game. With a day off Sunday, it’s a cap move with no game until Tuesday. Even if Erik Haula returns, Zach Parise is week to week and Zac Dalpe sustained a lower-body tonight that Boudreau didn’t have a timetable for yet. So one or both of Bertschy and Graovac could be recalled.
After Graovac’s goal, real heartwarming moment as he sat on the bench and the Jumbotron showed him smiling. The crowd roared with support.
“It’s hard not to smile in that moment,” Graovac said. “Pure emotions and chills, a feeling I’ve never really had before. It was a lot more than just a goal for me. It was just a great accomplishment for me.”
On the crowd reaction, Graovac said, “I don’t know if that was for me or the whole team, but I’ve got to give credit to Zucks for seeing me backdoor. The whole team played awesome tonight. It was really fun to be a part of that. It’s just great to be part of this.
“Your first NHL goal is something I’ve dreamed of, a short-term goal I’ve wanted for so long. I know I had a lot of family watching that game. It’s not just me scoring that goal. It’s my aunts, uncles, grandmother, my parents back home. It’s just something very special for all of us that we can all enjoy.”
Some more quotes:
On if Boudreau lit em up between periods: “Well yeah. It looked like we were a little bit on our heels and they were definitely taking the play to us. We talked about regrouping and having a big push in our building in the third period and we responded. It was a real good effort. Right from the start in the third we were aggressive and a little bit more in their face. We didn't show that in the second but we did in the third and we were rewarded with some goals.”
On Dubnyk: “This is pretty solid right now. I don't want to talk about it too much. I just want to let it roll. He just looks comfortable. He looks calm. He looks like he knows what he's doing which is a good feeling for guys in front of him. I liked how our guys are paying a price in front of him in the third period, blocking shots and doing those extra things that can help for him too. Hopefully he can keep it going as long as he can.”
On the awful second: “We just didn't get on the forecheck enough I think. We just looked like we were on our heels and instead of executing plays out of our end and on the neutral zone we were high flipping and playing defense. And when we do that against any team in the league they're going to create chances and opportunities. It's a good thing Duby was solid there for us and kind of held our ground. Then we pushed back in the third period.”
On if he looked short-side on his goal: “I was on that play. I had a couple looks tonight that were high. I hit him in the head once and another just over the net. I knew he was dropping down coming across so I tried to get it up in that area. It just caught a piece of him but I got enough of it to make it drop. Nice play. Great pass by Sutes.”
“It was a long 35 seconds. Usually when it gets to a 4-0 game you’re happy with the win and if the shutout happens, great. But you don’t really get nervous. That was probably the first time I started to get a little nervous toward the end of a 4-0 game. But it’s fun.”
On the three straight shutouts: “It’s fun. It’s definitely an accomplishment to be proud of for all of us. You don’t get shutouts by yourself. You get shutouts with guys doing a lot of good stuff in front of me and allowing me to make reads, great sticks and blocks and it all adds up, so it’s something to enjoy but most of that game tonight until the third period was one shot, so you can’t be thinking too much about the shutouts.”
On the second period: “That’s why it’s fun to be a part of this group. It’s obviously not the game plan to go out there, but I know that at some point we’re going to play, and we’re going to play the way we need to and that’s exactly what happened. We go out there and again for the third straight game we have a great third period when we have a lead and we get some big goals. That makes it fun.”
On all his achievements in Minnesota, where this ranks: “It’s up there, it’s awesome. It’s never happened to me before and I’m a big fan of wins. I don’t worry too much about shutouts but when you can have a week like that, I always try to stay in the moment and enjoy things and that’s something that I’ll have a night tonight and a day tomorrow to enjoy and we’ll get back to work on Monday.”
On the terrible second: “You get one shot and two hits, you wonder if you're still playing out there. But I'll tell ya, I thought they played really good in the third period and they moved their legs again and they got things going.”
Shuffling lines late in the second: “I was trying to find some guys that were playing in the second. If I could have tried 10 more combinations I would have just to see if we could get one group of three that was really going well.”
On bouncing back: “They've been doing that so far. It's still early. I'm glad that they dug deep and once we got the second goal I think it gave us a little bit of confidence and at least we started to have shots hit the net."
On Dubnyk: “I've never been in a situation where they've had three shutouts in a row. He's looking very confident out there. I don't know if he can do it for 73 more games but right now he's doing very well.”
Injury updates: “Parise is week to week. Dalpe, too soon to tell. I would say Scandella is week to week at this stage. Haula is day to day, I'm hoping there's some good news on his front for Tuesday.”
Graovac: “He played bigger. He moved his feet. I thought he got involved when he was on the ice, so when you get involved usually good things happen. You get a little sweaty, you get a little sore and everything else sort of takes place.”
Day off Sunday. Talk to you Monday.