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game recap

Wild hang on, defeat Lightning to end slide

Get first win in five games; Kucherov scores two goals for Tampa Bay

by @NHLdotcom

Suter's shot finds the twine

TBL@MIN: Suter fires shot that finds the way home

Ryan Suter blasts a one-timer that finds the back of the net despite getting deflected along the way, pushing the Wild lead to 3-1

  • 00:32 •

The Minnesota Wild won for the first time in five games, 3-2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

Alex Stalock made 18 saves for Minnesota (21-20-6), which has won eight straight games at home against Tampa Bay dating to Nov. 28, 2011.

The Wild were 0-3-1 in their previous four games.


[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Wild highlights]


"Second period, I loved the way we played, getting pucks to the net," Stalock said. "That's what we did when we were winning games. We got back to it tonight. We talked about getting that swagger back, and you see a lot of smiles in here tonight, so that's a good sign."

Nikita Kucherov scored two goals for the Lightning (28-15-4), who lost for the second time in 13 games (11-2-0). Curtis McElhinney made 20 saves.

"The first ten minutes of the game, we had the puck in our end probably nine minutes of it," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "All of the sudden, you pick up a couple of penalties, one ends up in your net, and then you're chasing."

Video: TBL@MIN: Kucherov buries pretty passing play

Zach Parise gave the Wild a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 14:17 of the first period. Eric Staal gathered the puck in front of the net and backhanded it across the goal mouth to Parise, who shot past McElhinney from below the right face-off circle.

Stalock made the save on Kucherov on a breakaway at 4:25 of the second period, but the Lightning forward scored 3:17 later off a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle to tie it 1-1 at 7:42.

"We just didn't play the right way from the beginning of the game," Kucherov said. "We made a lot of turnovers and did things we normally don't do."

Joel Eriksson Ek scored at 12:32 of the second period to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead.

"Today, we played a much better game," Eriksson Ek said. "We've got to keep doing the right things to play games like this."

Video: TBL@MIN: Eriksson Ek fires quick blast from the slot

Ryan Suter made it 3-1 at 14:43 with a one-timer from above the left circle.

"We played with energy and I thought we played the right way," Suter said. "We hadn't done that in about 10 games. The whole game, I thought the energy was there. Guys were working, and when we were winning games, that's how we were playing. That's how this team has to play."

Carter Soucy scored for the Wild at 16:02, but Cooper challenged for offside, and the goal was overturned after video review showed Kevin Fiala entered the Lightning zone ahead of the puck at 15:46.

"When we were going good, we had that pushback," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I thought we had it today, and my biggest fear was that one inch was going to cost us, like on that offside. I think if we could've [scored], they're a tired team and they might've folded the tent."

Kucherov scored his second goal of the night on the power play to make it 3-2 at 9:32 of the third period.

"We had some good looks and we got the big goal," Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman said. "The power plays gave us some momentum, but we were passing up some opportunities to shoot."

Video: TBL@MIN: Kucherov fires shot off the post and in

Stalock made the save on a Steven Stamkos shot from above the left circle with less than one second remaining.

"We were just flat, kind of stale," Stamkos said. "We weren't moving our feet. For whatever reason, we didn't have a lot of emotion and weren't playing our style for that first half of the game. That probably costs us the game."


They said it

"Fourteen games in 21 days for us with the finish of six games in [nine] days ... it's a tough schedule. We've just got to burn through, and tomorrow (against the Winnipeg Jets) is the last one before the [All-Star] break." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman

"We moved our feet on loose pucks. We weren't allowing them to get the puck all the time so they would have possession all the time. We were competing for loose pucks, and when you compete for loose pucks and get those 50-50 pucks, you're not playing in your zone. I think that's one of the reasons they were limited to 20 [shots]." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau


Need to know

Eriksson Ek scored for the first time in nine games dating to Dec. 23. ... The Wild have won five straight against the Lightning. ... Minnesota forward Marcus Foligno had an assist on Eriksson Ek's goal and has seven points (five goals, two assists) in the past six games. ... Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh was minus-1 with one shot on goal in 18:36 in his return after missing six games with an upper-body injury.


What's next

Lightning: At the Winnipeg Jets on Friday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, TVAS, TSN3, SUN, NHL.TV)

Wild: Host the Dallas Stars on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Video: Parise, Wild hang on for 3-2 win vs. the Lightning

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