ANAHEIM CA - FEBRUARY 25: Lubomir Visnovsky #17 of the Anaheim Ducks poke checks the puck away from Pierre-Marc Bouchard #96 of the Minnesota Wild in the first period at Honda Center on February 25 2011 in Anaheim California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Wild Win 3-2 Overtime Heart-Stopper Over Ducks

For the best Wild coverage on the web, please visit Hockey Wilderness.

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Audio of Pierre-Marc Bouchard's Game Winner Against Anaheim

 

 

Thanks to Michael Russo for linking to this audio via Twitter. This is the call from Bob Kurtz on WCCO-AM 830 of Pierre-Marc Bouchard's game-winning goal with 6.3 seconds left in overtime to give Minnesota a 3-2 victory over Anaheim.

What a great call. Great to hear some honest-to-goodness enthusiasm about the one Minnesota team that has provided any over the past couple of months.

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Wild Look Tired in 4-2 Loss to Kings

Game Recap, via Hockey Wilderness:

As in the Oilers game, both teams came out in full on nap time mode. There were a few shots on goal, but nothing challenging, and even the physical play and scrums looked forced. Perhaps it was the 9:50 PM CST puck drop. Who the hell is Bob Berry and why does anyone care? Are the Kings the Montreal Canadiens of the West? Just play hockey already.

The only action, and I mean, the only action of the first was the Wayne Simmonds goal. The Kings took that one goal lead to the locker room, and Wild fans were figuring things had to turn around. Things certainly couldn’t get much worse, right?

The second period appears to have woke up both squads. The Wild came out hard and had several lengthy periods of time in which they controlled play, got solid chances, and made Jonathan Bernier earn his keep a few times. The Wild got on the boards with a goal no one saw coming. Eric Nystrom worked his tail off (Sorry Tom) to fight off three defenders and some how score one handed. After four replays, I still don’t know how he did it.

Yet somehow, the goal from Nystrom didn’t seem to do much. Sure, it was nice, and the game was tied, but the momentum shift didn’t happen. That fact was capped by Wayne Simmonds scoring his second of the night in the exact same manner as the first. As Burns said on the LA feed between periods when asked if there is anything they need to do different in the third “We can’t give the puck to Simmonds anymore.”

No doubt.

Late in the second, the Wild got their momentum shift. With a delayed call against LA coming, Martin Havlat made the wily veteran play to get LA to touch up and move the faceoff all the way down to the LA zone. Matt Cullen wins it back to Burns who fires into a crowd and puts home the tying goal.

In the third, they kept Simmonds contained, but completely forgot about Drew Doughty. You know, one of the best young d-men in the league? After a few end to end rushes, the Kings came down fast, and made it look far too easy. The closest players to Backstrom were Pierre Marc Bouchard and John Madden. Where the defensemen were, we may never know.

The Kings, to their credit, did not sit back on the lead. They kept coming hard, and the Wild had no answer for it. Late in the third, the Wild were given a gift of a Ryan Smyth call for a power play. For some reason, with a minute and a half to play, the Wild pulled Backstrom, giving the Kings a free target with no icing.

It did not take long for Anze Kopitar to bury the insurance goal. Wild lose 4-2, and with the TOI numbers, tomorrow is going to be ugly.

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Camo Sweaters Night: Wild Face Edmonton Oilers

Game preview from our friends at Hockey Wilderness. Be sure to check out the full game thread, complete with lineups and the Five Questions of the night; tonight at game time at Hockey Wilderness. 

The Wild earned a big point against a Red Wings team considered by many to be the best in the West. Tonight, they play the hapless Oilers, and the temptation will be to play down to them. It is Minnesota sports tradition to play up to the tough games, and down to the weaker ones. Call it Minnesota nice, call it over looking an opponent, who knows. All we know is it happens far too often.

If the Wild overlook the Oilers, they could find themselves on the outside looking in. A win, and some help, could put them in fifth place. A loss, and no help, could sit them as low as tenth. Yes, hockey fans, the difference between fifth and tenth is one game. Every game is now a four point game, and every game is a must win.

How the Wild respond to the pressure will tell a lot about their character. They are playing without the face of the franchise, without their leader, and without one of their top scorers and minute munchers. There is no help the GM can offer that fills the void. It is on the shoulders of the men in the locker room to do it, and from their words, they know it.

Time for some killer instinct. Time to put the proverbial foot on the throat of a defeated dog and crush it. 

Keys to victory? Show up. If the Wild play like the did against the Wings, this one will be over in the first period. Play like a traditional Minnesota franchise, and it could be a long night. Either way, the Wild know what is at stake, and it is up to them to make the choice. 

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