Wild winger Zach Parise didn’t think the goal would survive video review.
Although he felt he had planted his skates — well outside the crease, to boot — Parise did bump into Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck after he was nudged by Winnipeg defensemen Tucker Poolman and then Anthony Bitetto. In the aftermath, Eric Staal poked the puck into the net with his backhand.
“I wasn’t going to move unless their guy pushed me,” Parise said.
And after a lengthy consult, that’s how the NHL saw the sequence, too — holding up a 3-2, come-from-behind, overtime victory by the Wild on Saturday in front of an announced 17,271 at Xcel Energy Center that stopped a two-game slide at the start of the team’s second half.
“I thought Zach did a phenomenal job in front there, paying a price and then trying to get out of the way,” Staal said. “He got pushed from behind, and he’s trying to clear himself out of the way. I was just able to jump on a loose puck. Big two points.”
Staal’s clincher, his team-high fifth, came 1 minute, 52 seconds into the extra session and while the Wild was on a 4-on-3 power play instigated when Jets captain Blake Wheeler slashed Mats Zuccarello’s stick.
But before the Wild could celebrate its first overtime victory this season in the locker room, it had to wait for a verdict from the NHL after the league’s situation room initiated a review. It eventually was determined the goal counted because Parise was pushed into Hellebuyck by the Jets.
“It’s goalie interference all day long for me,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “There’s not a lot of gray area in that one.”
As for Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, he said he wasn’t sure what the outcome was going to be — unconvinced of either result as he watched the replay.
“I’m just glad it went in our favor,” he said.
The Wild reached overtime after Luke Kunin tied it at 2 with 5:30 to go in the third period, turning and wiring the puck past Hellebuyck after accepting a no-look pass from linemate Marcus Foligno and hearing defenseman Matt Dumba screaming for him to shoot.
Before then, Hellebuyck — who turned aside 41 of a season-high 44 shots by the Wild — was airtight in a third period that the Wild had dominated.
“We were really pushing,” Foligno said. “Our D-men were coming down the walls and keeping pucks in. All [the Jets] had was to get it out and chip it out. They didn’t even make it to the red line. That really causes us to believe that we’re going to get one back, and we did and it was crucial.”
Foligno was the one who opened the scoring, burying a slick pass from Joel Eriksson Ek into an empty side of the net at 1:12 of the first period — and capitalizing on a promotion from the fourth line to the third.
But Winnipeg overcame that deficit with a pair of power-play goals.
The first came 39 seconds into the second, a one-timer from Mark Scheifele, and the second was another one-timer from Wheeler 52 seconds into the third. That advantage was the result of a high-sticking double minor against Jordan Greenway handed down after the officials used video to review the play, exercising a new rule that allows them to watch back the action to try to make the correct call.
Overall, the Jets finished 2-for-5 on the power play and the Wild went 1-for-5.
But that video review didn’t doom the Wild. Instead, another one helped seal a much-needed win that improved the team to 4-8-1 against the Central Division.
“Zach’s good in front of the net,” said goalie Devan Dubnyk, who pocketed 19 saves. “It’s not an easy place to be. He ate that one up high first, and then it dropped to him. It’s nice. We earned that one, for sure.”