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.
The Minnesota Wild have recalled goalie Johan Gustafsson from the AHL, after a lower-body injury that forced Josh Harding out of the last game after two periods. Gustafsson was 2-0 with a 1.99 goals against average in three games this season for the Iowa Wild. The sixth-round pick in the 2010 draft played in his native Sweden last season and has not appeared in an NHL game. He’ll be the backup to Niklas Backstrom when the Wild play at Chicago Saturday. Coach Mike Yeo said after practice Friday that Harding was feeling better but won’t travel to the game.
Brad Boyes and Jonathan Huberdeau scored in a shootout, lifting the Florida Panthers over the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Saturday night to snap a three-game losing streak. Boyes’ backhander went through the legs of goalie Josh Harding for the winner. Huberdeau beat Harding on the stick side for the first shootout goal. Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu were turned aside by Panthers goalie Tim Thomas in the shootout. Aleksander Barkov scored in regulation for Florida, and Thomas made 31 saves.
Jason Pominville received a warm welcome in his return to Buffalo and left his former team still searching for its first win of the season. Pominville, a former Sabres captain, scored the winning goal in the Minnesota Wild’s 2-1 victory over the winless Sabres on Monday night. “It tops off a pretty emotional day in a great way,” said Pominville, who played his first game in Buffalo since he was traded to Minnesota last April for center Johan Larsson, Rochester goalie Matt Hackett, a first-round pick that was used on defenseman Nikita Zadorov and a second-round selection. “So many good memories in this building. It’s nice to get another one.”
October 5, 1993 was the first time the franchise formerly known as the Minnesota North Stars would play a home game somewhere other than Bloomington, Minn. That night, the Stars beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-4 in Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas – officially, and for the foreseeable future, to be known as the “Dallas Stars.” Though Minnesota hockey fans would count on the promise of a future franchise from the NHL, they had to wait seven long years to get it.
Rookies Justin Fontaine and Mathew Dumba both scored their first NHL goals and Josh Harding made 18 saves for his second straight win as the Minnesota Wild beat the Dallas Stars 5-1 on Saturday night. Minnesota came in giving up a league-low 22.0 shots per game, and kept the pressure off Harding, who was filling in for injured starter Niklas Backstrom. Two nights after stopping 14 of 15 shots in a 2-1 win over Winnipeg, Harding faced only 19 shots as the Wild controlled play from the opening faceoff. Dallas also was playing with its backup goalie as starter Kari Lehtonen was injured in a 4-1 win at Winnipeg on Friday. His replacement, Dan Ellis, struggled with Minnesota’s offensive barrage, allowing five goals on 36 shots.
Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle will miss three to four weeks with a sprained knee. The Wild announced the timetable for Coyle’s recovery on Sunday night. The second-year player was hurt Saturday night in the team’s overtime loss to Anaheim. Left wing Jason Zucker was recalled from Iowa of the AHL to take Coyle’s place. Zucker played in 20 games last season. Both Coyle and Zucker are 21, part of the Wild’s promising young core. Coyle was centering the second line, between Dany Heatley and Nino Niederreiter.
The Anaheim Ducks let the sting of their season-opening loss at Colorado carry into their second game at Minnesota. And their improved play led to their first win of the season.
The Minnesota Wild trimmed their roster over the weekend, sending promising young forward Jason Zucker and two other players to Iowa of the AHL. Forwards Brett Bulmer and Jake Dowell also were assigned to Iowa. But Zucker was the only mild surprise in the group. The speedster Zucker had four goals and one assist in 20 games for the Wild last season. But he was unlikely to play on opening night against the Los Angeles Kings, so the Wild sent him down to get some work in with the Iowa Wild, the team’s new AHL affiliate.
Jason Zucker scored the lone shootout goal and assisted on the tying goal to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in a preseason game Monday night. Zucker’s shot trickled under the outstretched left leg pad of Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 26 saves in regulation and overtime. Minnesota goalie Josh Harding thwarted all three Columbus attempts in the shootout with the last one from Matt Calvert hitting the post. Harding stopped 20 shots before the shootout.
From the moment the gates opened on Saturday night, the vibe at Xcel Energy Center was a little different than usual. Can a pre-season hockey game have a “vibe,” you ask? It can when the Winnipeg Jets are in town. Thanks to NHL realignment, the Minnesota Wild find themselves in the same division as their neighbors to the north. And if Saturday’s game is any indication, the contests between the two will be intense all season long.
Jason Pominville scored the only goal of the shootout to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night. Minnesota took a 2-0 lead into the locker room after 20 minutes on goals Carson McMillan and Charlie Coyle. New Wild defenseman Keith Ballard assisted on both. Winnipeg (1-2-2) stormed back with second-period goals by Eric O’Dell, Patrice Cormier and Paul Postma. Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter forged a 3-3 tie in the third period, scoring off a feed from Zach Parise.
Hockey fans in the Twin Cities will have a chance to sneak a peek at the sport’s “Holy Grail” on Thursday and Friday. As is tradition, each player on the Stanley Cup winning team gets to take the famous trophy home for 24 hours, and this is Nick Leddy’s day.
The Minnesota Wild have waived defenseman Tom Gilbert. The team announced the move Wednesday. The 30-year-old Gilbert had one season left on his contract for $3 million. If he goes unclaimed by another team, the Wild will use one of their two available compliance buyouts to keep Gilbert’s money from counting against their salary cap. He would then become an unrestricted free agent Friday, eligible to sign with any team except the Wild.
Those who got to see the Blackhawks rally to beat the Bruins and win the Stanley Cup last night won’t soon forget it, but unfortunately neither will those who didn’t get to see the big win, after a strong, fast-moving storm knocked out power.
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.