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Wild Win 3-2 Overtime Heart-Stopper Over Ducks

Game Re-cap from JS Landry over at Hockey Wilderness:

In this second game of a back-to-back, the Wild needed a win to try and favorably separate themselves from the 387 other teams they are tied with. Win they did, but was it a deserved win? It was for at least one Wild player, that’s for sure.

The Wild started the game tired, which is strange, because usually, to be this tired, you have to actually have played more recently than a day… maybe the warm-up was a bit much? Anyway, the speed just wasn’t there, they were being out shot, out-hit and basically out worked, but it was John Madden who opened up the scoring with a beautiful top-corner snipe on a two-on-one with Andrew Brunette in which he smartly elected to shoot instead of pass… wouldn’t it be nice if more of our players had that shoot-first mentality? The pass would’ve been blocked too..Despite Anaheim controlling the flow, it was the Wild who lead 1-0 after one period

The second period would pretty much be more of the same, with the Wild getting pummeled on the shots department (20-10) and the Ducks tied things up after an unfortunately-timed line change by the Wild gave the Ducks enough time to set up camp in the offensive zone and crash the net. Bobby Ryan got the final touch on the puck to push it in after Theo did an awesome job trying to keep it out. That goal was memorable for two reasons: 1) It was Bobby Ryan’s 100th career goal. 2) Curtis McElhinney broke a bunch of world records by passing the puck over 2500 miles from the bench of St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa Bay to the front of the Wild net in the Honda Center to notch an assist. The actual assists went to Jason Blake and Ryan Getzlaf, who made a very pretty no-look pass that fooled everybody.

The third period? You guessed it: more of the Ducks annihialting the Wild everywhere but on the scoreboard. In fact, the third period brought us a pair of goals from some unlikely sources. Clayton Stoner notched his second career NHL goal by throwing an absolute bomb through Dan Ellis’ 5-hole. No one even seemed to be sure it went in because the puck stayed in the netting. That was a huge goal to cap off a huge performance by Stoner, who was without a doubt in my mind the best defenseman on the ice tonight. It’s amazing how quickly he become an impact defenseman after drawing our ire in the season’s first games. It’s also amazing how many times I’ve said these exact words this season. Stoner scored this goal with 5 minutes to go in the game, and with the way Theo was playing, we just knew it would be up to him to secure the win. Alas, one can only bend so far before he breaks, as Francois Beauchemin grabbed the Jason Blake rebound to tie the game at 2 with exactly 2 minutes left in the game. Theo was not to be blamed however as the puck magically appeared directly on a surprised Beauchemin’s stick and he seriously had to stop about 8 shots in that 3 minute period between goals.

Overtime? Yep, dominated by the Ducks AGAIN, only this time, the Ducks didn’t seem to bother with defense as they let Cal Clutterbuck go in on a breakaway in which Dan Ellis absolutely robbed both Clutter and whoever took the rebound (I was so excited and pissed at the first save, I didn’t bother checking who took the rebound), but moments later, Brent Burns (who had a poor all-around game) fed the puck to a very lonely Pierre-Marc Bouchard in front (it’s ridiculous how far away he was from human life where he was) and PMB made the Ducks pay by scoring the game-winning goal 7 seconds before the shootout was necessary. The Ducks deserved the two points more if you ask me, but to the Wild’s credit, they never ever gave up. Despite the 48 shots, the defense made sure they were mostly clean, easy-to-save shots. From the Ducks’ perspective, the loser point is still welcome at this stage in the season, especially since they almost let that point slip away before Beauchemin tied it. The only other thing that could’ve made things worse for them is if PMB had spin-o-rama’d Dan Ellis for some more #DanEllisProblems. I guess PMB didn’t want to be disrespectful, but can you imagine how NASTY that would’ve been? I think Twitter would’ve exploded.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.