Erik Cole scored on a breakaway with 4:49 to play, and the Dallas Stars rallied to defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Saturday night. Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen was injured in a collision with the Wild’s Erik Haula at 6:37 of the third period. Newly acquired goalie Tim Thomas earned the win in his Stars debut in relief.
Going into the NHL trade deadline, the Minnesota Wild weren’t thought to be very active. Holding on to the first wild-card seed in the Western Conference, Minnesota should be a playoff team if they continue to play as they have since Jan. 1. If anything, the thought was the Wild would address the goal-tending situation and that would probably be it. Minnesota did that and then some. The Wild made two trades at the deadline, getting Ilya Bryzgalov from Edmonton and acquiring Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick from Buffalo.
The Buffalo Sabres have traded forwards Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Torrey Mitchell. The Sabres also acquired a pair of second-round draft picks in a deal made just before the NHL’s trade deadline hit Wednesday. Moulson changes teams for a second time this year after the Sabres acquired him in a deal that sent leading scorer Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders in October. In his seventh NHL season, Moulson is a three-time 30-goal-scorer, who has 17 goals and 38 points in 55 games this season.
Jared Spurgeon’s power-play goal in the third period helped the Minnesota Wild notch their season-high fifth straight win, 3-2 over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
USA’s Olympic hockey team beat Russia 3-2 in a stunning shootout Saturday. The arena in Sochi was packed to overflowing with fans of both nations, jovially posing for photos and comparing their colorful sweaters. The Russians waved hundreds of flags, blew horns and banged drums from the first moments of warm-ups. Hockey legend and former Golden Gopher Lou Nanne was team captain during the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. He says Saturday’s game was quite a spectacle.
Wolves win….US Men win in Olympic Hockey. Catch Mike’s sports with Dave Lee
The Minnesota Wild have acquired forward Curt Gogol from the San Jose Sharks for forward Chad Rau in a trade of minor leaguers. San Jose general manager Doug Wilson announced the move Wednesday, ahead of the team’s home game against the Dallas Stars. The Sharks had lost four of their last five. Rau has one goal and six assists in 33 games this season for the AHL’s Iowa Wild. He has two goals in nine career NHL games for Minnesota. He will report to the Worcester affiliate.
The Wild take on Tampa Tuesday night in a dash to the Olympic break. Keith Ballard came home in the off season to try and help solidify a group of defensemen that is a blend of veterans and youth.
Mikko Koivu’s return to the Minnesota Wild likely won’t come until after the Olympics, leaving his availability for Finland during the Winter Games in question. Koivu broke his right ankle Jan. 4 when he was hit by a puck and had surgery to accelerate the recovery. The captain and first-line center has resumed skating, but Wild coach Mike Yeo told reporters after practice Monday that Koivu’s availability for the last two games before the Olympics break was “highly in doubt.”
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.
As athletes from around the world prepare to attend the Olympics in Sochi next month, concerns about security continue to mount. One member of the Senate Intelligence Committee says he wouldn’t go, and he wouldn’t have his family go.
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.
TCF Bank Stadium will hold an outdoor doubleheader Friday afternoon at the Hockey City Classic, featuring the Minnesota Gophers men’s and women’s hockey teams. The men’s team took to the ice late Thursday afternoon in preparation for Friday’s game. It was also a chance to see the ice at nightfall, checking out the sight lines under the lights. Coach Dan Lucia says there will be one other element in play that’s a bit more distracting than the waning sunlight.
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.”
Andrew Rohkohl says he’s been working at being a goalie since he was a little kid. “It’s been a dream, really,” Rohkohl said. “And it takes a lot of effort to get to this place.” He has become a part of the nucleus of a team that leans on veterans, according to Edina hockey coach and former NHL defensemen Curt Giles. “He’s a smart kid,” Giles said. “The thing with him is he fits in perfectly. I mean, we got a good class of seniors with good leadership.”