ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Boston Bruins needed a win like this. Well, any win, really.
Loui Eriksson's goal 1:30 into overtime gave Boston a 3-2 win over Minnesota on Wednesday night, only the second victory for the Bruins in eight games and the fourth loss for the Wild in the past six.
Carl Soderberg, who set up the winner with a cross-crease pass in front of Wild defenceman Marco Scandella, scored in the first period for the Bruins. So did Patrice Bergeron, on a send-it-at-the-net shot just across the blue line that knuckled in front of Niklas Backstrom and skipped past the goalie's blocker.
That was the kind of lucky bounce the Bruins have been lacking lately.
"You know what? It's time we got a break," coach Claude Julien said.
Niklas Svedberg made 35 saves for the Bruins in just his second start in 11 games to give a rest to Tuukka Rask, who lost in shootouts on Tuesday at Nashville and on Saturday against Ottawa.
"He was great. He definitely made some huge saves," Bergeron said.
Especially in the second period, when the Wild outshot the Bruins a whopping 20-5 without a score to show for it. They had a 5-on-3 advantage for 62 seconds but managed only one shot, and coach Mike Yeo was upset with the power play afterward. The Wild are third-to-last in the NHL, with a 12.3 per cent success rate.
"We've got to stop losing," said an unusually downcast Zach Parise.
Kyle Brodziak scored early and Jason Pominville tied the game for the Wild with 8:21 remaining in regulation when a failed clear of the rebound of Ryan Suter's shot gave Suter the puck back for a pass that ping-ponged off Pominville's foot.
Kyle Brodziak also had a goal for the Wild, but Backstrom was beaten in the net for the second straight night. He stopped 22 shots and wished he had the one by Bergeron back.
"I feel stupid to let in a goal like that. I think it was going to the corner and just hit the ice, bounced up, changed direction, went into the net," Backstrom said.
Backstrom played through a stomach illness at Chicago on Tuesday, giving up four goals on 38 shots in the 5-3 loss. He replaced starter Darcy Kuemper, who came down with a similar sickness a few hours before faceoff.
With Kuemper still ailing, a less-than-full-strength Backstrom was backed up by John Curry, an emergency call-up from the Wild's AHL affiliate. Josh Harding was recently sent to Iowa to get back in game shape after breaking his foot before the season, but he is unavailable because complications from multiple sclerosis have arisen.
Pominville said he has seen a decrease in confidence lately among his teammates, and the coach agreed.
"If it wasn't enough, we're better than that. Let's be even better next game," Yeo said. "We did a lot of good things. We hit three posts. We made a play to tie up the game. But we can still do a little bit more, and that has to be our mindset."
The Bruins activated centre David Krejci, who had a team-high 69 points last season but missed 17 of the previous 19 games because of a lower-body injury, from the injured list and had him skate with Seth Griffith and Milan Lucic.
Julien said he thought Krejci played well, in part because he was unscarred by the recent struggles while being held out of action. His return also helped better balance the lines.
"We've played some games where we've worked really hard and haven't gotten the results we wanted," Svedberg said. "Obviously it's a great feeling for us to get a win. We've just got to build off it."
NOTES: The Wild have ruled out the mumps with Backstrom and Kuemper and defenceman Jared Spurgeon, who returned from a two-game absence. ... Soderberg scored for the first time in 16 games since Nov. 10. Bergeron's goal was his first in 12 games since Nov. 18. ... Backstrom fell to 5-0-2 in seven starts against the Bruins. ... The Wild dropped to 12-2-2 against the Bruins. ... Eriksson has 29 points in 31 career games against the Wild.