With the final say on whether the goal would count or disappear, the NHL’s situation room and its video review process played an integral role in the Wild’s come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Jets Saturday at Xcel Energy Center — rubber-stamping a shot by center Eric Staal that came after Zach Parise was pushed into goalie Connor Hellebuyck by two Winnipeg defensemen.
But what set the sequence in motion was Parise acting as a screen, in one of the latest examples of the winger reporting for duty in the gritty areas on the ice and getting rewarded.
“It creates goals,” Parise said about his net-crashing style. “Whether it’s for me or someone else, you have to get there. Someone has to get there. It’s not always my turn; it could be someone else’s. But if you look at where a lot of goals are scored, it’s always right around there — whether it’s a rebound or a tip or something.”
While this has long been Parise’s approach, the circumstances surrounding him have changed.
Unlike the start of his career when he’d get whacked and hacked repeatedly for trying to set up shop in front of the net, now he finds defensemen more likely to focus on blocking shots and boxing out.
Parise’s also had to reconcile his objective with the ever-intensifying spotlight on goaltender interference, which came into question Saturday.
Although the officials will give him a heads-up, telling him to move when he’s too close to the goalie, Parise said he feels what makes his role more challenging is when goaltenders initiate the contact.
Still, it hasn’t deterred him from doing what he’s always done.
“When the shots are coming in, that’s my job to be there and try to screen him and take away his eyes a little bit,” Parise said, “especially when no one else is down there. It’s just me and him.”
The Wild held a pregame ceremony Sunday to recognize goalie Devan Dubnyk for playing in his 500th game earlier this season.
Dubnyk reached the milestone on Nov. 7, when he appeared during the second period in relief of Alex Stalock in San Jose, becoming the 73rd goalie to hit the number.
Accompanied on the ice by his family, including his wife, Jenn, and their three children, Dubnyk was presented a crystal and silver goalie stick. He was also gifted a watch by his teammates and a family vacation by the Wild, and the Minnesota Wild Foundation made a $5,000 donation to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
“It’s fun to sit back and kind of reflect on everything, right from the start and everything I’ve been through and we’ve been through as a family,” said Dubnyk, who was away from the team earlier this season while Jenn dealt with a medical situation. “Coming here, obviously, was a huge part of that. I’ve played the majority of them here. This is just a place that’s really meant a lot to me.”
World juniors update
Prospect Alexander Khovanov nabbed silver at the IIHF World Junior Championship after Russia fell 4-3 to Canada on Sunday.
He took three shots in 16 minutes, 34 seconds of ice time, finishing the tournament with three goals and five assists. Khovanov’s eight points were tied for second-most on the team.
In the pipeline
Iowa forward Gerald Mayhew and defenseman Brennan Menell, both of whom have spent time with the Wild this season, were named to the American Hockey League All-Star Classic.
• Stalock, who started Sunday against the Flames, has been fined $2,000 for diving/embellishment. He received a warning after an incident Oct. 12 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. His second citation, which resulted in the fine, was issued for an incident 15 seconds into the third period of the Dec. 21 game vs. the Winnipeg Jets. On the play, Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele was called for goalie interference. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.