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Friday Five: Top Goals of 2016-17

With an abundance of contenders, picks the top five goals from this past season

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

In today's Friday Five, takes a look back at the top five goals scored this past season:


Video: DET@MIN: Coyle eludes defender, goes bar-down in 2nd

5. Charlie Coyle inside-outs Detroit defender, scores on breakaway (Feb. 12, 2017)

After Minnesota jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, the Red Wings halved their deficit on a tally seven minutes into the second period, setting up Coyle's pretty goal. 

With the puck careening around the defensive zone, Jason Pominville shot a quick peek up the ice and saw Coyle bolting for the neutral zone. Pominville flipped a bouncing puck forward, one that Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen couldn't quite handle. 

Coyle knocked the puck through Jensen's legs with his stick in his left hand, sending himself on a breakaway with the goaltender. A quick forehand-backhand-forehand maneuver got the goalie on the ground, and Coyle fired under the crossbar to finish off the rush.

Video: MIN@EDM: Koivu dances past Gustavsson for OT winner

4. Mikko Koivu's overtime goal kickstarts winning streak in Edmonton (Dec. 4, 2016)

When overtime began at the Oilers' sparkling new facility in downtown Edmonton on the night of Dec. 4, Minnesota was a team just three games over .500. With a record of 11-8-4, the Wild was off to a solid start, but was nowhere near the record-setting pace with which it would finish the season.

Koivu's goal 3:11 into the extra session was the turning point.

With the clubs skating 3-on-3, Matt Dumba brought the puck through neutral and passed to Coyle entering the offensive zone. The power forward worked to the middle of the rink and dropped the puck to the captain at the top of the left circle. Koivu went around a defender, eluded a poke-check attempt by the goalie by pulling the puck to his backhand, then slid it into a wide open net for the winning goal.

The win was the first of 12 straight victories for the Wild, a new franchise record. The stretch of wins, which lasted from Dec. 4 until New Year's Eve, rocketed Minnesota up the Western Conference standings and set the tone for a historic regular season. 

Video: MIN@WPG: Zucker puts Wild on top with a late goal

3. Erik Haula's pass, Jason Zucker's snipe sink Winnipeg (Feb. 28, 2017)

Playing its second game in as many nights coming off the bye week, the Wild was on the ropes against its rivals to the north. 

Minnesota scored three consecutive goals to overcome an early deficit and led 3-1 after one. Marco Scandella's goal eight minutes into the second made it a three-goal game, and the Wild appeared poised to breeze to a victory.

But things rarely come easy at MTS Centre, one of the NHL's loudest environments.

Winnipeg sandwiched a Ryan White goal with two of its own to get to within 5-3 by the end of two periods. Then goals by Joel Armia and Mark Scheifele less than two minutes apart in third evened the score at 5. 

With Jets fans still buzzing, Haula and Zucker daggered the Jets on a goal with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. 

As the final seconds of a Winnipeg power play dripped away, Haula raced a pair of Winnipeg defenders for a loose puck through the neutral zone. After getting to it first, he alertly skated toward the right corner, sucking both Jets players away from the middle of ice. 

Zucker, fresh off the bench, zoomed into the offensive zone to provide support, slamming his stick on the ice to alert Haula of his presence.

The former Gopher took notice, sliding a pretty backhand pass through the legs of a defender to a wide open Zucker, who rifled a shot past the goaltender for what would be the winning goal.

Video: LAK@MIN: Granlund cuts through zone, dekes for OT win

2. Mikael Granlund's overtime winner against Los Angeles (Feb. 27, 2017)

One of Minnesota's gutsiest wins of the season came in a rare high-scoring game against the Kings, one of the League's lowest-scoring clubs.

Granlund's goal just 12 seconds into overtime came like a bolt of lightning.

Despite a total of eight goals scored between the teams in regulation, the Wild never held a lead. Minnesota overcame four one-goal deficits, tying the game at 4 on a goal by Zucker with almost 13 minutes left in regulation. 

Koivu won the opening draw of overtime and defenseman Jared Spurgeon chased down the puck, dropping a pass back to Granlund 15 feet inside the defensive zone.

The Finnish winger took things from there.

Granlund gained speed through the neutral zone and seemed to catch all three Kings skaters on the ice a bit off guard. With all three Los Angeles players standing on their defensive blue line, Granlund went right to split two of them. With the puck on his backhand, Granlund used his body to shield the puck from Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, worked it to his forehand and slid it past an outstretched Jonathan Quick, sending Xcel Energy Center into a frenzy. 

The goal was the fastest overtime winner in franchise history. It was just the third time the Wild had overcome four one-goal deficits in a win and the first since Feb. 11, 2011.

The victory was Minnesota's 40th of the season in its 60th game, the fastest the Wild had ever reached 40 wins.   

Video: NJD@MIN: Spurgeon gloves down puck and bats it home

1. Jared Spurgeon gloves puck to himself, bats it into net against New Jersey (Jan. 17, 2017)

Minnesota came out firing against Devils goaltender Cory Schneider, but had little luck in beating him, at least early on.

It took an unbelievable power-play goal by Spurgeon late in the first period to finally break through against him.

With Jonas Brodin at the point, he worked the puck to Koivu near the right-wing boards. Koivu skated left and fired a shot toward the net with traffic in front.

The puck deflected off a handful of players in front of Schneider and popped in the air in front of Spurgeon, who was collapsing toward the left post. 

Losing his angle and with the puck seemingly headed harmlessly toward the left corner, Spurgeon stuck up his left hand, batted the puck in front of him, then channeled his inner baseball player and whacked the puck out of midair and past a sprawling Schneider.

An awesome display of hand-eye coordination, Spurgeon's goal was one of the prettiest scored by any player in the NHL this season.

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