Tyler Matson spent some golden years as a Golden Gopher. “Unbelievable experience,” Matson said. “Playing for Don Lucia, the Gophers and being in Minnesota and being a Minnesota kid … you want to play there.” His current residence is just over three hours south in Des Moines, where he plays for the Wild’s AHL team – the Iowa Wild. Interstate 35W and a whole bunch of players are between him and the big club.
Nate Prosser scored his third career goal at 2:42 of overtime, lifting the Minnesota Wild over the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Saturday night. Prosser netted the winning score for the second time in as many games, and Darcy Kuemper stopped 33 shots. Erik Haula and Ryan Suter also scored for the Wild. Ryan Garbutt and Alex Chiasson scored for the slumping Stars, who have only one win in their last nine games. Kari Lehtonen made 16 saves.
Jamie Langenbrunner has retired after a 16-year NHL career in which he won two Stanley Cups. The 38-year-old right wing from Cloquet, Minn., played for Dallas, New Jersey and St. Louis. He won NHL titles with Dallas in 1999 and New Jersey in 2003. He was on the U.S. Olympic team in 1998 and 2010. Langenbrunner announced his retirement Wednesday in a statement by the NHL Players Association, thanking coaches and teammates for “helping a kid from Minnesota enjoy a long, fulfilling hockey career.”
Ryan Suter scored three goals, and the Minnesota Wild beat the Washington Capitals 5-3 on Saturday night. Suter completed the first hat trick by a Wild defenseman with 12:23 to play in the third and giving the Wild a two-goal lead. He jumped into the play straight out of the penalty box to create a 2-on-1 with Clayton Stoner, then beat Braden Holtby from the left faceoff circle off Stoner’s feed. The Wild won despite being outshot 30-11. Their previous season low for shots in a game was 13 in a 3-1 win over San Jose on Dec. 8. Minnesota has won two straight after snapping a franchise-record six-game losing streak on Thursday.
The Minnesota Wild have placed left wing Zach Parise on injured reserve because of a bruised foot. The move was made Saturday. The Wild recalled goalie Johan Gustafsson from Iowa of the AHL to take Parise’s spot on the active roster, but Parise can be taken off injured reserve at any time. Parise has 15 goals and 12 assists in 37 games. He was hurt Nov. 25 at St. Louis and held out of the next game before returning to the ice four days later.
Mikko Koivu scored the winner in the shootout and Josh Harding made two glove saves, helping the Minnesota Wild rally for a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night. Koivu beat Semyon Varlamov with a shot just under the crossbar. Zach Parise also scored for the Wild in the shootout. Matt Duchene had a shootout goal for the Avs, but Harding then stopped P.A. Parenteau and Ryan O’Reilly to preserve the win.
For the Wild faithful, the Hockey Lodge is where fans like Eric Anderson find their team spirit. “We’ve had tickets since 2001, their first season, so you can’t have enough wild stuff,” Anderson said. As he browses the jerseys, sweatshirts and other Wild gear, he’s preparing for a dream shopping spree. “Perfect time of the year,” he said. “Christmas gifts, you know, you can’t have too much stuff.”
Cam Atkinson, Nick Foligno, Boone Jenner and R.J. Umberger scored and Curtis McElhinney posted his first shutout since 2011 in leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night. It was the Blue Jackets’ second win in a row, the first time they’ve won back-to-back games since Oct. 25. They did it in their first game without last year’s Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, who will miss the next month or so with a strained groin.
Jason Pominville and Charlie Coyle scored 57 seconds apart early in the third period to break open a defensive standoff and lift the Minnesota Wild to a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night. The teams had combined for only 28 shots when Pominville collected Mikko Koivu’s pass in the crease and pushed it past a helpless Ray Emery 3:52 into the third period. On the ensuing shift, Coyle tapped a rebound off Jared Spurgeon’s slap shot into an empty corner at 4:49.
Ryan O’Reilly scored the only goal in the shootout, Semyon Varlamov stopped 35 shots and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Saturday night. Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon had a goal apiece to help the Avalanche sweep the home-and-home series with the Wild. John Mitchell added two assists for Colorado, which won a rare penalty-free game. Mikko Koivu and Matt Cooke scored goals and Josh Harding stopped 23 shots for the Wild.
Alexander Steen scored twice, and Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 3-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Monday. Steen has 19 goals this season, one behind Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for the NHL lead. Vladimir Sobotka also scored for the Blues, who are 9-1-1 in their last 11 and 12-2-1 in the last 15. They have won six straight against Minnesota by a combined 20-7. The Wild were shut out for the first time this season and lost only their second game in the last eight. Minnesota (15-6-4) is still off to its best start with 34 points in its first 25 games.
Ricky Rubio’s defensive problems starting to show for the Wolves….
The Minnesota Wild has a brand new Zamboni – it’s first new ice resurfacer in 14 years. It’ll be a few weeks before the 8,620 pound machine is in “game shape,” but that had us wondering: how do Zambonis work?
Patrick Sharp finally scored, Nick Leddy jump-started Chicago’s stagnant special teams with a power-play goal and the Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 5-1 on Monday night. Corey Crawford made 29 saves, and Sheldon Brookbank, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad all scored to give the Blackhawks just their third game of more than three goals in 12 contests this season. After giving up 11 goals while losing their previous two games, the Blackhawks played tougher defense, were more disciplined and paid the Wild back for their 5-3 win Saturday in Chicago.
Niklas Backstrom made 33 saves in his first win of the season and the Minnesota Wild defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 on Saturday night in a rematch of their first-round playoff series. Jason Pominville had two goals in his 600th career game as Minnesota earned its third consecutive win. Zach Parise, Kyle Brodziak and Justin Fontaine also scored for the Wild, and Ryan Suter and Mikael Granlund had two assists apiece. Bryan Bickell scored for the fourth consecutive game for the Blackhawks, who had recorded at least one point in each of their past seven games. Patrick Kane added his team-best sixth goal in the third period.
Jamie Benn scored in the second period, Carey Price made 31 saves, and Canada beat the United States 1-0 Friday night in the semifinals of the Olympic men’s hockey tournament.
Icy stares, bone-crunching checks, even a skirmish or two in front of the net. USA faced off against Russia on Feb. 15, 2014.