So, in the defensive zone, Kyle Brodziak looks like he's down and out in the front half of the third period. He takes a late, high, blindside hit from Ian Laperriere, and heard the buzzing and the ringing ears and "blacked out for half a second or a second."
As medical trainer Don Fuller looked after him on the bench, it looked like we wouldn't see Brodziak for awhile. Next thing you know, he's back a few shifts later, played a strong last part of the third and scored his second career overtime winner 2:33 in when Brian Boucher showed exactly why the Flyers are going to have to search for a goalie this summer -- maybe even the Wild's Josh Harding.
Shot off the shoulder, popped into the air, and then he backs into it on the ice, knocking it into his own net. The fans let him have it, just like they did the entire last part of the third after Marty Havlat and Andrew Brunette tied the game up (they originally gave the goal to John Scott but changed it after, saying Brunette got a piece of it).
Heckuva comeback, the fifth time the Wild's rallied from two or more goals down for a win this year and seventh time (tied for 3rd) the Wild's rallied for a win when trailing after two periods.
Just an awful start, and amazingly it didn't combust the whole night. A pair of Andrew Ebbett turnovers (although one came on a poorly-executed 3-on-2 after the Wild tried to force it) led directly to Philly goals 39 seconds apart within the first 4:18 of the game.
Coach Todd Richards called timeout to settle down the team, and players credited it with working. While the Wild went the final 14:09 of the period without a shot, they also didn't give up much the rest of the period. Niklas Backstrom also recovered to play quite well in the last part of the first and all of the second and third for 32 saves.
Marek Zidlicky cut it to 2-1 just 34 seconds into the second. Havlat committed a turnover for a 3-1 Flyers' lead and angrily smashed his stick on the glass afterward. He ripped himself after the game for the turnover, then when I asked about making amends because he picked Daniel Carcillo's pocket en route to his goal for a 3-2 trimming, Havlat just said it was a great team effort. Havlat just refuses to ever give himself a pat on the back, which is pretty commendable.
Finally Brunette tied it with 6:37 left before overtime. The Wild won its ninth OT/shootout game, breaking the team record.
We'll see Friday if the league reviews the Laperriere hit. Remember, blindside head shots are now illegal at least when it comes to supplemental discipline. Players said the hit was exactly what they watched on video this morning. There was debate as to whether Laperriere hit Brodziak shoulder to chin or shoulder up high.
Regardless, it was late and blindside, and it wasn't called. Lots of stuff wasn't called tonight, like Carcillo's hit from behind on Guillaume Latendresse, John Scott being high-sticked and Casey Wellman, pretty impressively for a 173-pound college kid, jumping to Latendresse's defense and jumping Carcillo, maybe the toughest hombre in the NHL -- or at least borderline craziest (no offense, of course).
Nick Schultz had his 17th point with an assist on Brodziak's winner, establishing a new-career-high. Antti Miettinen had two assists. James Sheppard was maybe the best forward in a lousy first period for the Wild. I thought Ebbett really responded well to his tough start. He could have unraveled, just like the Wild.
But they didn't. Nice comeback win. Unfortunately, too little, too late in the season.
That was a very quick, off-the-top-of-my-head, somewhat sloppy blog, but extremely early flight for me tomorrow and a long day ahead as I've got to get my Sunday stuff done, too.
At least though, it's onward to paradise in the morning -- Detroit.