Who would have thought this before the start of this season? The Wild would be swept in Edmonton and sweep in Calgary?
Remember, the Wild couldn't lose for years in Edmonton and couldn't win in history in Calgary. The Wild went 3-0 in Calgary this season after winning three times in 25 visits during the first eight years of the franchise.
So three of the Wild's 13 road wins this season were in Calgary.
Gutty, gutty performance tonight. The Wild, already without six regulars (Latendresse, Havlat, Nolan, Ebbett, Zidlicky, Schultz), lost two more tonight in goalie Niklas Backstrom (throat) and James Sheppard (knee) and still pulled it out.
With 17:46 left in the third period and the game tied at 1, Backstrom was nailed in the throat by a rising shot from Calgary's David Moss. This puck hit Backstrom literally less an inch to the right of the Adam's apple. He's got a red puck print there. He couldn't breathe, couldn't swallow, but he's OK. He wanted to come back in the game, but the Flames doctors wouldn't allow him fearing it could swell up or worse.
There have been a lot of horrific incidents in recent years from similar situations, especially in Montreal, but he's OK.
Wade Dubielewicz came on and played the final 17:46, the overtime and the shootout for his first win since playing in Chicago last year as a member of the Blue Jackets. The Wild took five minors in a span of 8:55 of one point, with Dubie in for much of that. And yet he only faced five shots because the Wild did a tremendous job collapsing in front of the net and blocking shots. He also made two saves in the shootout.
Brent Burns and Antti Miettinen scored in the shootout. Sheppard looked to sustain a serious knee injury when he was hit from behind by Calgary's Robyn Regehr. Coach Todd Richards said he won't play Saturday vs. Dallas.
But Backstrom said he expects to start the season finale.
Just a great opportunity for the young kids tonight. Casey Wellman was solid and assisted on Chuck Kobasew's goal, as did Burns, who held the puck basically the entire shift. Nate Prosser was just outstanding. He even played on a 5-on-3 disadvantage and started overtime. Twenty-one minutes in his second NHL game.
Just poised, skates well, smart.
Burns played a fine game, totaling 28:55 of ice time. Kobasew, in his first game back from a sprained MCL, played 22 1/2 minutes and scored. Maxim Noreau played 7:01 in a jittery NHL debut.
Greg Zanon looked like he was shot during a blocked shot late in the third. He left the bench, walked it off and didn't miss a shift. "I'll live," he said after the game.
Nick Schultz was expected to play and wanted to play, but he was told he was not playing. He clearly was not happy about that but played the good soldier like he always is. This is a guy who usually needs his appendix to explode (literally) not to play.
That's it. I must get out of here because I've got a lot of work ahead of me when I get back to the hotel still. I can't imagine more than a few guys practice tomorrow. I've got an early flight, so I'll update blog later in the afternoon if I get injury updates.
Here's the original Max Noreau story that ran in the early editions that I chopped up in the later ones: