END 2nd
9:30 PM ET

36 SOG
20 SOG

Harding stops 36 shots as Wild blank Wings, 1-0

NHL.com | Saturday, 10.29.2011 / 10:44 PM

Josh Harding's first NHL victory in more than 18 months is one he'll savor for a long time.

Harding hadn't won since March 21, 2010 -- a stretch that covers all of last season, which he missed while recovering from surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his right knee. He showed no ill effects from the injury on Saturday night, stopping all 36 shots he faced to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 1-0 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at the Xcel Energy Center.

Harding made his return two weeks ago, stopping 38 shots but losing 3-2 in OT to the Wings. Given a second chance against one of the NHL's top teams, he was flawless as he made Dany Heatley's first-period goal stand up.

"I didn't really think about playing Detroit twice and getting three out of four points," said Harding, who recorded his fifth career shutout. He has stopped 74 of 77 shots by the Wings in the two starts.

"It's a great feeling," Harding said after his fifth career shutout. "It makes you know that all that hard work paid off."

It was just the second shutout by the Wild against Detroit; the other came in March 2003.

"Unbelievable," Wild coach Mike Yeo said of Harding's performance. "He was great. He makes a save that you don't expect and it’s amazing what a lift that gives your team."

Detroit lost its fourth consecutive game and second in two nights despite outshooting Minnesota 36-20. Wings coach Mike Babcock couldn't find a whole lot wrong with his team's performance -- only the outcome.

"We didn't score," he said. "I didn't mind our game at all. Their goaltender was good.

"We played way better (the last two nights)," Babcock said. "We're not scoring easy. We're not scoring at all. We haven't all played where we feel like we got the feel. And they're good players, they're going to get that because there's no way we can suddenly be a team that can't score. So to me, just keep working, keep doing good things and good things will happen."

Heatley, one of the NHL's top snipers, did what the Wild brought him to Minnesota to do when he controlled a tipped puck outside his own blue line, raced down right wing and zipped a wrister over Jimmy Howard's right shoulder into the top corner for what turned out to be the only goal of the game.

The Wings won their first five games this season, but they've dropped four in the last eight days -- including back-to-back losses to San Jose and Minnesota.

Howard got the start after playing in Friday's 4-2 loss to San Jose because backup Ty Conklin has struggled, allowing 10 goals in his last two starts.

The Wings looked a little sluggish early, but the game remained scoreless when officials overturned an apparent goal by Wild forward Nick Johnson, ruling that he kicked a rebound into the net. They did nothing during after being awarded a four-minute power play early in the third period when Minnesota's Devin Setoguchi cut Todd Bertuzzi with a high stick.
Pavel Datsyuk killed two minutes of the long power play by taking a hooking penalty less than a minute later and missed a chance in front of the net after he returned.

"We had a lot of chances," Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "Kind of like, I'm used to saying this answer right now ... we're creating but we can't really score goals. You know it's frustrating. I think we're doing a lot of good things, but we don't get rewarded with goals and wins."

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report.
Scoring Summary
1st Period
10:51MIN Dany Heatley (3) Snap shot - ASST: Mikko Koivu (5) 1 - 0 MIN
2nd Period
3rd Period
Three Stars of the Game
Josh Harding
SA: 36TOI: 59:55
GA: 0EV: 31-31
PIM: 0PP: 5-5
SV%: 1.000SH: 0-0
Dany Heatley
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 22:22
Justin Falk
G: 0Shots: 1
A: 0Hits: 4
PTS: 0PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 19:05
Penalty Summary
1st Period
17:06MIN Guillaume Latendresse  Roughing against  Ian White
19:14DET Brad Stuart  Hooking against  Guillaume Latendresse
2nd Period
05:38DET Niklas Kronwall  Interference against  Matt Cullen
06:31MIN Guillaume Latendresse  Holding against  Jonathan Ericsson
3rd Period
01:17DET Todd Bertuzzi  Holding the stick against  Jared Spurgeon
05:38MIN Devin Setoguchi  Hi stick - double minor against  Todd Bertuzzi
06:27DET Pavel Datsyuk  Hooking against  Justin Falk
13:11DET Todd Bertuzzi  Holding against  Kyle Brodziak
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/40/4
Faceoff Wins2823
Blocked Shots129
Penalty Minutes108
4J. KindlD0001013:07
5N. LidstromD0003025:26
8J. AbdelkaderL0002012:55
11D. ClearyR00-12016:39
13P. DatsyukC00-17220:48
18I. WhiteD0003025:14
20D. MillerL000107:23
23B. StuartD00-11217:09
26J. HudlerC0000010:59
40H. ZetterbergL00-14023:47
43D. HelmC0002014:21
44T. BertuzziR0001412:06
48C. EmmertonC000006:32
51V. FilppulaC0002015:26
52J. EricssonD0000014:37
55N. KronwallD00-11222:52
93J. FranzenR0004018:22
96T. HolmstromL0002013:36
35J. Howard1920.95058:41
3M. ZidlickyD0001020:37
6M. ScandellaD0012020:23
7M. CullenC0001017:16
9M. KoivuC0111019:36
10D. SetoguchiR0001413:53
14D. PoweC0002010:51
15D. HeatleyL1011022:22
16B. StaubitzR000105:35
18C. GilliesC0001010:00
21K. BrodziakC0001017:53
22C. ClutterbuckR0002014:19
25N. JohnsonR0001012:59
39N. ProsserD0000019:05
44J. FalkD0001019:05
46J. SpurgeonD0011020:51
48G. LatendresseL0013418:47
55N. SchultzD0000015:10
96P. BouchardC0000013:23
37J. Harding36361.00059:55