MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With a day off on Wednesday, the Minnesota Wild spent most of its practice time working on the power play.
Judging by the results on Thursday, it seems like practice paid off as power play goals by Zach Parise and Jonas Brodin help lead Minnesota to a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Wild jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Chicago before the Blackhawks rallied to score three straight goals and to take the lead 3-2. With 5:39 to play in the game, Minnesota was able to tie the score when Brodin fired a one-timer past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford on the power play to even things up.
“We’ve had a little bit of trouble on our power play the last few games.” Brodin said after the game. “But I think we played very well today on the power play and it was nice to get two goals there.”
While the power play goals kept Minnesota in the game, it wasn’t until 1:48 to play in regulation where the Wild took the lead for good thanks to a shot from Marco Scandella from the blue line, which beat Crawford on his glove side. It was Scandella’s first goal of the year and it gave Minnesota a 4-3 lead that would hold up as the final score.
For all the struggles the Wild had when playing last week, this was a good win over a great hockey club. Something that wasn’t lost on Wild forward Zach Parise.
“Anytime you beat a team like that it’s important. Everyone knows how good they are. It’s been a tough stretch where we haven’t played as well as we need to. I thought we played with a lot more energy, handled the puck better and coincidentally scored more goals,” Parise said.
It’s encouraging to see the power play perform as well as it did in Thursday’s win for Minnesota. Especially since the Wild were 0-for-11 with the man advantage going back to the last time they scored a power-play goal. That was on Nov. 20, when Jason Pominville scored against Ottawa.
After going 0-3-1 last week against St. Louis, Phoenix and Colorado, Minnesota has bounced back this week to shutout Philadelphia on Monday and rallied Thursday to defeat the defending Stanley Cup champions. After 30 games, the Wild is in third place in the Central Division with 39 points and only five points behind Chicago for the top spot in the division.
While there is a lot to feel good about after a win like this, Minnesota can’t enjoy it for too long. The Wild fly to Columbus where the Blue Jackets will be waiting for them on Friday night.