It looked like the Minnesota Wild might be on their way to their first road victory of 2011 in Ottawa on Tuesday night, but the Ottawa Senators came back from a two-goal deficit in the third period and took down the Wild in a shootout to come away with a 4-3 victory.
Minnesota got on the board early in this one with two first-period goals. The first one came from Kyle Brodziak, who redirected a Clayton Stoner slapshot past Senators' goalie Craig Anderson at the 8:41 mark to give the Wild a 1-0 lead. Then, with less than a minute left in the opening period, Devin Setoguchi tallied his second goal of the year, a power play goal assisted by Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley to give the Wild a 2-0 lead going into the intermission.
Ottawa struck back in the second period, as Nick Foligno put one past Niklas Backstrom at the 8:17 mark of the second period to get the Senators to within 2-1, but the Wild made it a two-goal margin again early in the third, with Nick Johnson's unassisted tally less than two minutes in gave the Wild a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately for the Wild, it was not long after that point that the Senators scored two goals in a span of 2:09, with Chris Neil beating Backstrom to draw Ottawa to within 3-2, and Colin Greening scoring on the power play to tie the game at 3-3.
Things remained that way through the rest of the third period and a five-minute overtime session, so the two teams went to a shootout. The Senators went first, with Milan Michalek beating Backstrom to give the Sens an early advantage. On the other end, Koivu was unable to score against Anderson, and Jason Spezza went 5-hole against Backstrom to give the Senators a 2-0 lead. Matt Cullen beat Anderson to make it 2-1 and keep the Wild alive, but Daniel Alfredsson ended it by beating Backstrom again, giving the Senators a 3-1 win in the shootout and a 4-3 win on the scoreboard.
Here are the three stars for the contest:
* - Backstrom - 41 saves, .932 save percentage
** - Neil - 1 goal, 1 assist
*** - Alfredsson - 0 goals, 0 assists, winning goal in shootout
The Wild will return home on Thursday to host the Edmonton Oilers, and will welcome back forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who missed both the Wild's road games because of a two-game suspension for an incident in the season opener against Columbus.