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Wild score three in third to defeat Bruins

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- The Minnesota Wild were the ones using the comeback route against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Tuesday.

Defenseman Marco Scandella scored with 5:53 left, Minnesota's third goal of the third period, and the Wild defeated the Bruins 4-3.

Against the New York Rangers on Monday, the Wild held a 3-0 lead in the third period but lost 5-4. Minnesota arrived here late after the loss and then learned before the game they would be missing defenseman Jonas Brodin and forward Erik Haula because of injury.

"Yeah I didn't expect it to happen 24 hours later, but that's the way it goes," said Wild forward Zach Parise, who started this comeback with a goal at 4:21 of the third period. "It happens to everybody, it happens to us, it happens annually to one of the best defensive teams in the League. That's the way it goes; you get one and all of a sudden you get a little momentum and you start to feel good about it. The best thing is that the way we were playing paid off. In between the second and third we made some tactical adjustments, and I think that really caught them off guard and paid off for us."

Scandella scored from the left point through a Charlie Coyle screen. The Wild outshot the Bruins 18-8 in the third period. Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom, making his second start, stopped 24 of 27 for the Wild, who split their first back-to-back of the season.

"We just kept going. It's not like we were lacking energy," Wild forward Thomas Vanek said. "I thought for back-to-back [games], we played well. We had shots, we had chances. Even our power play actually had a few chances. I think that helped, so even though we didn't score, I think the mood was good, and here, there was just no panic. That's what helped."

The Bruins (5-6-0) were attempting to win a second straight since defenseman Zdeno Chara left the lineup because of a knee injury. But the Wild outshot the Bruins 42-27 and there were too many defensive breakdowns for Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask, who made 38 saves, to overcome.

"I think a lot of it started in the second period," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We started playing on our heels, we stopped playing on our toes and being first to the puck, or at least create the battle. We should have been the fresher team tonight. That should have been the case. We knew they were going to compete hard; that's the way that team plays all the time. It was up to us to push the pace all night long and we didn't do that.

"So, you know, again I guess it's disappointing to see the lack of tape-to-tape passes and how we're just mismanaging that puck. And then the same thing in the third period, they were just first on it everywhere, winning the battles, winning the races, and the commitment to win was there a lot more than it was for us."

Forward Seth Griffith scored twice for the Bruins.

"Well, that's probably the brightest thing of the night for us, was the fact that Seth really played a strong game," Julien said. "That line last year scored a lot of goals from guys driving the net and he did a great job of driving the net every time. He got rewarded for it and he also made a nice play there on [Milan Lucic's] goal. If there's somebody that should be walking out of here with his head up high, it's him."

Minnesota (5-3-0) was trailing 3-1 when Parise tipped Mikael Granlund's pass past Rask at 4:21 of the third period. Justin Fontaine then tied the score during a goal-mouth scramble. After Ryan Carter's two tries to beat Rask were stopped, Fontaine slammed the puck in at 6:34.

The Wild were able to take advantage of Boston around the Bruins net with Chara out.

"That's kind of [Chara's] strength too," Parise said. "They do such a good job at crashing the net. They have big guys that are tough to defend and they always funnel the puck towards the net and it's tough to defend. I guess we started to do that a little bit and we got the same type of goals that they had."

The Wild didn't look weary from the outset, scoring first at 4:51 of the first period. Vanek forced a Matt Bartkowski giveaway below the goal line and then passed to Nino Niederreiter in front for his second goal of the season.

Boston tied the score on a goal by Griffith, who tipped in a pass from David Krejci. The Bruins gained possession after a big hit by Lucic on defenseman Justin Falk, who was replacing Brodin in the lineup. Bruins defenseman Zach Trotman advanced the puck to Krejci to start the scoring play. The assist extended Krejci's point streak to seven games.

Griffith scored his second goal from almost the same spot but on the other side of the ice. Gregory Campbell fed the puck to the front of the Minnesota net, and Griffith tipped it in at 5:23 of the second period for a 2-1 lead.

Lucic extended the lead to 3-1 with a power-play goal at 16:59. Defenseman Torey Krug's slap pass from the right circle connected with Lucic's stick at the top of the blue paint.

"The way [the back-to-back] all worked out, I'm not too disappointed," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. "We learned a couple lessons on the trip. We learned that we can't take our foot off the gas when you have the lead and we learned that we can come back if we stay with it."

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