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Wild's Dubnyk steps up in win against Red Wings

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk overcame a minor injury to make 28 saves in a 3-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Xcel Energy Center on Monday.

Dubnyk sustained his injury during practice on Sunday when a puck hit him between his blocker and arm pads attached to his shoulder armor, opening a deep cut that required six stitches to close.

As of Monday morning, Dubnyk's injury was expected to limit him to backup duties, at most. But an upper-body injury to announced starter Darcy Kuemper forced Dubnyk into action and he responded, making 11 saves in the first period and falling fewer than two minutes shy of his fifth shutout this season.

"When you've played as many games as [Wild coach Mike Yeo] has allowed me to play over the last little while, it's easy to just get into game-day routine," Dubnyk said. "Nothing really changes. It's not a big deal. [The wrist] didn't feel real good this morning, but it felt a lot better tonight than I expected it to."

Charlie Coyle scored the game's first goal and Mikko Koivu scored twice late in the game for Minnesota (19-10-6), which finished a four-game homestand 2-2-0.

"We knew this homestand was going to be a test," Yeo said. "We can't classify it as a good one, but certainly a win tonight doesn't make it so bad."

Pavel Datsyuk scored his fourth goal and the Red Wings got 32 saves from goaltender Petr Mrazek, who was outstanding despite the loss.

Detroit got 29 shots on goal, but few were of the grade-A variety; Dubnyk's glove save on Tomas Jurco that shut down a 2-on-1 break might have been his best save of the game.

"I didn't think we made it very tough. I would have liked to have been [their] goalie," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "Not to take anything away from [Dubnyk], I thought he played good, but we didn't make it hard on him at all."

Yeo was pleased with the Wild's overall game after a 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Minnesota blocked 23 shots, led by defenseman Jared Spurgeon's six. The Red Wings finished with five blocks total.

"Win, lose, whatever, I just wanted to see us play the right way," Yeo said. "I saw a lot more pace to our game tonight and a huge part of that is the execution. That's been our concentration over the last couple of days."

Mrazek made several big saves, especially during a two-minute stretch during the middle of the third period.

The first was on Jason Zucker, who tried to use a backhanded shot while on a breakaway. Mrazek flipped it aside with a glove save.

On the next shift, Zach Parise's shot from the low slot was swept away on a pad save. Nino Niederreiter was denied on a point-blank chance moments later.

"I thought Petr played really well," Blashill said. "They pushed way harder than us and got some big-time chances. He gave us a chance to win, so good for him."

Niederreiter was whistled for a cross-checking penalty shortly thereafter, but Detroit was unable to capitalize.

Coyle went around Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith at the right circle and chipped the puck over Mrazek's glove for his ninth goal at 11:42 of the first period to make it 1-0.

Nobody scored again until Koivu made it 2-0 at 17:42 of the third, following a paddle save by Mrazek on Matt Dumba by putting the rebound into an open net.

Datsyuk scored from the slot 21 seconds later but Koivu corralled the puck and scored from the left circle at 18:56 for his 10th goal with Mrazek on the bench.

"I don't think we shot the puck enough tonight," Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader said. "We had the puck in good scoring areas and passed up those shots. We didn't make it hard enough on their goalie to make saves and didn't give ourselves a chance to get those second and third rebound opportunities."

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