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45 SOG
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game recap

Backstrom shines as Wild edge Jackets

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

NHL.com

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Backstrom shines as Wild edge Jackets
Minnesota Wild 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 2
Three Stars of the Game
Niklas Backstrom
1st
SA: 45TOI: 60:00
GA: 2EV: 33-33
PIM: 0PP: 7-8
SV%: .956SH: 3-4
Cal Clutterbuck
2nd
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 10
+/-: 1TOI: 12:17
Antoine Vermette
3rd
G: 1Shots: 5
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 15:49
Niklas Backstrom made 43 saves, Cal Clutterbuck bagged the game-winner and the Minnesota Wild roared back from a two-goal deficit for a 4-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday night.

The Wild win – their seventh in nine games – means they end their five-game road trip with a winning record (3-2-0). First-year coach Mike Yeo was pleased with his players' effort.

"I was real impressed with the character of the guys," Yeo said. "It would have been really easy when you're that tired, you don't have everything in the tank you had at the start of the trip, to just say, 'OK, it wasn't our night. It wasn't a terrible trip. We got a couple of wins here, let's just move on to our home stand,' but the guys didn't do that."
 
Despite tying their season-high for shots – and nearly doubling that of their opponents – the Blue Jackets (3-13-1) failed to capitalize on the first-period momentum. In the Jackets' crease, Steve Mason managed just 20 saves against a Wild team that grew more confident as the game progressed.

Pre-game questions about Minnesota's thin defense were answered early, as the Blue Jackets capitalized on blue-line mistakes to jump out to a 2-0 first-period lead.

At 6:51, Antoine Vermette's snapped his 21-game scoreless streak with Columbus shorthanded.  With seconds left in their first man advantage, the Wild's Marek Zidlicky was guilty of a defensive lapse in his own zone. A lazy pass to Kyle Brodziak was stolen by Vermette, who skated in on Backstrom from the right side and, after his first shot went off the goalie's pads, finished the rebound from a tight angle.

When the Blue Jackets embarked on a power play of their own four minutes later, Mark Letestu swept in a crossed puck from Nikita Nikitin for his second goal in three games and a 2-0 Columbus lead.

"It's been a long trip for us," Yeo said. "The travel we've had along the way, changing time zones, not skating yesterday. There were a lot of things to indicate we might have the start we did."

Midway through the second period, Minnesota roared back, tying the game with two goals just 20 seconds apart. With the Wild on the power play, Matt Cullen latched onto a bouncing rebound near the crease and buried it past Mason's stick side for his team-leading eighth of the season. As the man advantage ended seconds later, Nick Johnson wristed home off a pass from Darroll Powe for his second of the campaign.

The comeback was complete at 7:37 of the third period, as Clutterbuck latched onto a Pierre-Marc Bouchard drop pass and fired high past Mason from the right circle for the game-winner.
 
"I didn't really see it go in, to be honest," Clutterbuck said of his fourth. "I heard it. I saw the light."

After Mason was pulled for a sixth attacker, Devin Setoguchi iced it with seven seconds to play.

"For 30 minutes (we) absolutely dominated them, probably our best 30 minutes of the year and then we just seemed to go into a shell," Jackets coach Scott Arniel said. "We just seemed to proceed to turn pucks over."

Columbus had the majority of possession in the third – and a 17 to five advantage in shots – but Backstrom responded with a number of outstanding saves. Rick Nash had a golden opportunity to equalize with 10 minutes to play, but his straight-on blast found post instead of a wide-open net.

Typically an offensive force for the Jackets, Nash has just one goal in eight games and came up empty again Tuesday despite five shots.

"He's squeezing his stick pretty tight now," Arniel said of Nash. "Everybody’s seen those pucks go in, and it's not going in. With a game like that and it's 2-0, your best players have to be your best players. … I thought tonight our skill guys had to be better."
scoring summary
1st Period
06:51
CBJ
SHG - Antoine Vermette (1) ASST: NONE
1 - 0 CBJ
10:42
CBJ
PPG - Mark Letestu (2) ASST: Nikita Nikitin (2), Grant Clitsome (6)
2 - 0 CBJ
2nd Period
10:32
MIN
PPG - Matt Cullen (8) ASST: Kyle Brodziak (4), Jared Spurgeon (3)
2 - 1 CBJ
10:52
MIN
Nick Johnson (2) ASST: Darroll Powe (2), Warren Peters (1)
2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period
07:38
MIN
Cal Clutterbuck (4) ASST: Pierre-Marc Bouchard (9), Justin Falk (2)
3 - 2 MIN
19:53
MIN
EN - Devin Setoguchi (5) ASST: NONE
4 - 2 MIN
penalty summary
1st Period
02:08
MIN
Brad Staubitz  Boarding against  John Moore
04:59
CBJ
Jared Boll  Misconduct (10 min) against  Cal Clutterbuck
04:59
MIN
Cal Clutterbuck  Misconduct (10 min) against  Jared Boll
04:59
CBJ
Matt Calvert  Misconduct (10 min) against  Pierre-Marc Bouchard
04:59
MIN
Pierre-Marc Bouchard  Misconduct (10 min) against  Matt Calvert
05:12
CBJ
Samuel Pahlsson  Hooking against  Mikko Koivu
09:04
MIN
Clayton Stoner  Cross checking against  Derek Dorsett
09:04
CBJ
Derek Dorsett  Fighting (maj) against  Warren Peters
09:04
MIN
Warren Peters  Fighting (maj) against  Derek Dorsett
18:54
CBJ
Rick Nash  Hooking against  Justin Falk
2nd Period
09:05
CBJ
Vinny Prospal  Too many men/ice - bench
15:11
CBJ
Fedor Tyutin  Interference against  Cal Clutterbuck
3rd Period
02:25
MIN
Nick Schultz  Hooking against  R.J. Umberger
03:33
CBJ
Jeff Carter  Hi-sticking against  Justin Falk
goalie stats
Niklas Backstrom
SA: 45TOI: 60:00
Saves: 43EV: 33 - 33
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 8
SV%: .956SH: 3 - 4
Steve Mason
SA: 23TOI: 58:34
Saves: 20EV: 13 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 8
SV%: .870SH: 0 - 0