As Mike Yeo joked after tonight’s come-from-behind 3-2 overtime win over Nashville, “I’m glad we spent most of the practice yesterday working on our power play. I guess hopefully we’ll save them when we really need them.”
For the second time in 13 games, the Wild didn’t draw a power play, so it (technically) continues to be scoreless on the road power play since Feb. 1 (0 for 17 the past 10 road games). The Wild has drawn two or fewer power plays in 12 of the past 17 games.
But one big reason why the Wild has now won a franchise-record eight consecutive road games and is 12-1-2 in 15 games under Devan Dubnyk is its NHL-best penalty kill. The Wild’s penalty kill is 28 for 29 the past 12 road games and 60 for 63 the past 24 games overall.
Obviously, it starts with Dubnyk, but man, tonight guys like Jonas Brodin, Erik Haula, Kyle Brodziak were so good on the penalty kill. The Wild killed four, including a 53-second 5-on-3 late in the second after Roman Josi scored twice in 45 seconds to give Nashville a 2-1 lead going into the third.
If it had been 3-1 going into the third, it could have been lights out for Minnesota.
But the deficit stayed one, and in the third, the Wild got back on its toes, generated a bunch of chances, outshot the Predators 11-6 after having nine shots through two periods and finally tied the score on Charlie Coyle’s second goal of the game with 6:41 left.
Great setup by Nino Niederreiter entering the zone, and then Chris Stewart after some impressive patience to wait for Coyle to come into the zone off the bench.
Then, in overtime (and please read the gamer because it’s there where I wrote mostly about Matt Dumba), the blossoming 20-year-old scored his first career overtime goal only 22 seconds in for the fastest road overtime win in Wild history.
After an incredible individual effort by former Pred Ryan Suter in the D-zone to fight through two guys and spring Dumba on a 3-on-2 with a pass from the ice, Zach Parise crossed the blue line and had to read if Dumba would drive the net or set up for a one-timer.
Parise read it right, dropped a pass and Dumba unleashed his seventh goal, tied for third in the NHL among rookie defensemen. He is plus-16 his past 15 games, had three shots tonight and a career-high five blocked shots in 21:08 of ice time.
Here's the goal:
“Nice way to cap off a real solid game,” Yeo said of Dumba, hinting that he loved his defensive game even more than his offensive game.
Parise said, “Everyone’s so happy for him. He’s played so well. He’s got a bomb of a shot. We saw it there. It’s fun to see the way he’s progressed. He’s been awesome for us. It’s been awesome to see the way he has developed and progressed. They’re giving him more and more responsibility and he keeps playing better and better. It’s so good for our team the way he’s playing.”
The comeback win when trailing after two periods was the Wild’s seventh, which is fourth in the NHL.
Yeo said it’s because “there’s a confidence in our game. Even though we get down, we don’t change our game.”
It was a frustrating game, Parise said, especially the way the Preds bottled the Wild up and the way the Wild couldn’t draw a power play. Dumba said of the Wild’s tough second period, “You’re going to have those little plays there, but it’s what you do after that. Our mindset was just keep pressuring them.”
Dubnyk made 25 saves and has allowed two goals or fewer in 23 of 28 consecutive starts. He is 21-5-1 with the Wild with a 1.67 goals-against average and .939 save percentage. Overall, he is second in the NHL with a 2.08 goals-against average, tied for second with a .929 save percentage, tied for fourth with six shutouts and tied for seventh with 30 wins.
All the Wild D were good. I really liked Brodin again and I couldn't believe how Christian Folin didn't miss a beat. Coyle continued his string of solid games. Suter now has eight assists in 12 games against his former team. Parise has eight points in his past seven games.
That’s it for me. Two-game homestand starts Thursday against Washington. If the Wild doesn’t scrap practice Wednesday, Kent Youngblood will be coming to you from practice.
I’ll be hosting a live podcast at the Liffey in St. Paul with Jim Souhan at 4:30 p.m. It can be found at souhanunfiltered.com.