The Minnesota Wild are led by former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Todd Richards and play a very similar style to the one employed by Dan Bylsma and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
However, the Wild opted to switch to a neutral zone-clogging trap that slowed down the Penguins’ up-tempo rush. Coupled with Wild goaltender Jose Theodore playing a incredible game and without the services of NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby, who sat out his second game with a mild concussion, Minnesota was able to escape with a 4-0 victory over Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh was able to apply offensive pressure on the Wild, registering 26 shots on goal, but all were turned aside by the proverbial hot goalie as Theodore recorded the shutout.
Wild goaltender Jose Theodore put together a stellar performance as he turned aside 26 shots on net to record his 30th career shutout.
The Penguins offense was able to generate some great scoring chances – coming close when Zbynek Michalek hit the goal post – but Theodore was equal to the task.
The Penguins entered the third period down by only two goals. The team used a couple of shifts of sustained pressure to build some momentum.
Pittsburgh worked hard for that first goal to crack goaltender Jose Theodore. It came close on several shifts, but couldn’t convert a goal. Defenseman Zbynek Michalek even rung a shot off the pipe behind Theodore.
Then at the 6:20 mark of the third period, the Wild scored a game-changing goal that helped them seal the game as Cal Clutterbuck tallied to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead.
(AP) - Jose Theodore made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season and 30th of his NHL career, and the Minnesota Wild shut down the Sidney Crosby-less Penguins 4-0 on Saturday night.
Chuck Kobasew, Martin Havlat, Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Brodziak scored for the Wild, who are on a season-high, four-game winning streak. Theodore improved to 19-4-3 against Pittsburgh, including 17-1-3 in his past 21 starts.
Crosby missed his second straight game - both Penguins losses - because of a concussion, and the NHL's leading scorer isn't expected to play Monday against Boston or Wednesday at Montreal. Pittsburgh is 21-12-8 in games Crosby has sat out and has won only one of seven games this season in which he didn't play or didn't record a point
• The Penguins played their second game without captain Sidney Crosby, who is nursing a mild concussion. The Penguins are 21-12-8 all time with Crosby not in the lineup, and 0-1-1 this season.
The Penguins had a scare in the first period when Jordan Staal collided knee-to-knee Clayton Stoner in the neutral zone. But the centerman was OK and returned to action.
• Pittsburgh killed off back-to-back penalties and 36 seconds of a five-on-three early in the second period. The Penguins successfully held the Wild power play off the scoresheet. The kill was the seventh straight for the Penguins when down two men. Pittsburgh killed five penalties and now have the No. 1 ranked PK in the NHL (87.9 percent).
• The Penguins surrendered three goals or more for only the sixth time over their past 22 games. Pittsburgh is 15-5-2 over that stretch.
• The Penguins wore their blue third jerseys for the seventh time this season. Pittsburgh is 5-2 on the season in blue, and 17-9-3 all time since debuting the jersey at the 2008 NHL Winter Classic.
• The Penguins are now 6-3-1 against the Western Conference this season, and 2-1 against the Northwest Division.
#1. Jose Theodore Goaltender - 60
26 saves 1st shutout of season 30th career shutout