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Where my State of Hockey legion dawgs at? Welcome back to live in-game commentary presented by Sun Country Airlines, where the best pilots handle the airplanes. I want to start off by wishing you a Happy Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day. I personally feel this is an often overlooked and important holiday. It serves to remind us that...Oh..you've got
to be kidding
me! Mike Doyle just spilled water everywhere in the Al Shaver Press Box and it got on my shoes! Why? Why does this have to happen to me? Why do bad things happen to good people?
Well, my night is now ruined. But we must forge ahead, and I'm certain that a big Minnesota Wild victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets will lift my spirits. I'll be here in the press box to tell you all about it, unlike Thursday night when we did a Live Chat that featured the FS North Girls. It was a fun night, but so many people had opinions. Tonight, we get back to the only opinion that matters and that's mine. And I'm of the opinion that the Wild will roll over the Jackets tonight and get on a little win streak here. Should be fun. Niklas Backstrom
is going to make his fourth straight start tonight. I like this call, because Backy typically comes up big against the Blue Jackets in this building. He's looking very sharp in pregame warmups right now, and I expect that to continue well into the night.
As for the rest of the lineup, the Wild will be missing the services of Clayton Stoner
(lower body), Pierre-Marc Bouchard
(concussion), Guillaume Latendresse
(concussion) and Jarod Palmer
(concussion). Justin Falk
will be the lone healthy scratch tonight while Brad Staubitz has been assigned to the Houston Aeros after clearing waivers earlier today.
For you fashionistas, I'm happy to report that the Wild will sport the home reds for this one. The Blue Jackets are wearing their road whites trimmed in blue and red with the flag of Ohio on the chest. Did you know is the only US State flag to be shaped like a pennant? Just a little nugget for you.
Ryan, Shannon and Trey from the KS95 Morning Show are here for the "Let's Play Hockey" declaration. Rather than kick it to a song from ADELE, they're kicking it to the refs to get this thing going. Away we go.Period 1
18:49 - First scoring chance of the night goes to Columbus when the puck caroms hard off the boards behind Backstrom. Rick Nash is alone at the side of the net to pick it up, and he wheels around with it for a shot on Backstrom who sticks it away.
16:45 - The Koivu line is again buzzing all around in their first two shifts. The enter the Columbus zone with ease and Mikko puts the puck to the net with Devin Setoguchi
crashing. Steve Mason makes the stop on that shot and then he gets the leg pillow to take away a golden chance from Dany Heatley
on the rebound.
14:31 - Watch out for that fella wearing number 61. He goes by the name of Nash and he's scary. He gets into the Wild zone with a head of steam and then throws the brakes on to shed the D. He then rifles a wrister on goal, but Backstrom is able to pin it between his right arm and his chest.
10:01 - It's the Cullen line this time that gains entry into the Wild zone. Matt Cullen
, Cal Clutterbuck
and Erik Christensen
all touch the puck before Cullen gets it in the high slot and pumps a shot on goal that Mason gets with the pad.5:32 - MIN 1 - CBJ 0 - That line has it working again. It looks like preseason again. Koivu gets the puck along the left boards and puts the puck over to Setoguchi alone in the slot. He wastes no time in firing a missile past the glove of Mason and into the upper corner. That's a goal in consecutive games for Seto, who throws a mean fist pump in the corner for his celebration.
4:12 - The Wild forecheck applies all kinds of pressure during a Columbus power play. Cullen's hustle leads to a chance for Brodziak who can walk it in all alone from 20 feet on in. He makes a nice move to the backhand, but Mason stays with him nicely and makes a huge glove save to knock it down. The Wild penalty kill has had more scoring chances in two opportunities than the Columbus power play. 0:56.0 - MIN 1 - CBJ 1 - The Wild has throughly dominated this period, but it looks like it may end in a 1-1 tie. Nash drops a pass back to former Ohio State Buckeye R.J. Umberger at the top of the left circle. He's able to get a shot off through traffic and it just gets through the upper body of Backstrom, falling behind the Wild keeper and trickling in.
0:00 - That was a good period of hockey for the Wild, as it put 15 shots on Mason. But the late Columbus goal as this thing tied up after 20.Period 2
19:04 - Back in the lineup, Mike Lundin
nearly sets up a goal by firing a slap shot pass to the open side of the goal where Heatley is stationed. All Heatley has to do is catch it and put it home, but the pass actually breaks his stick and the puck bounces away.
18:52 - Minnesota keeps coming with relentless pressure. Koivu bulls his way into the Jackets zone before dishing to Darroll Powe
, who gets in all alone. He tries to tuck a backhand in but floats it wide.
16:39 - Now the Blue Jackets miss an easy one. A shot from the point bounces hard off the end boards and right to Ryan Johansen on the other side. Johansen flips a shot to the goal with Backstrom diving head first, but he clips it off the cross bar.
14:54 - Right off the draw in the Jackets end, the puck is won back to Marek Zidlicky at the blue line. He powers a slap shot through everybody and puts that one off the post.
11:30 - The Wild is definitely getting pucks through, but Mason has been there to make the stops. He comes up with a nice glove save off a shot from Lundin, who is enjoying a very solid return to the rink.
6:48 - Wow! Steve Mason. Where did you come from? On the Wild's first power play of the night, Christensen gets a shot through to Mason, who makes the save. Brodziak is there to shovel the rebound toward the empty net, but Mason dives back and throws his blocker hand back to knock it away just as it gets to the goal line. Unbelievable stop followed by some roughhousing afterward.
4:36 - After a long power play shift, Heatley skates to the bench and slams his stick on the boards, breaking it.
4:17 - Wheo! Nash skates in all alone on Backstrom after a long lead pass, but his shot to the blocker side clanks off the post. A lot of metal has been nicked up in this game.0:20.3 - MIN 1 - CBJ 2 - I just don't understand how the Wild is losing this game after dominating almost all night, but here we are. James Wisniewski fires a shot that deflects off some debris on its way to the net. Umberger is right there at the crease to gather up the trash and he puts it away for a Blue Jacket lead.
0:00 - Again, the Wild has been better than Columbus tonight, but it's not showing on the scorebard. I'm expecting a huge effort in the third period. Period 3
19:08 - It's not that the other Wild lines are playing bad, but Koivu's line has been so good that I hate so see them leave the ice. They generate more pressure in the Columbus zone until Nate Prosser
steps in and fires a shot toward the goal. The puck is pinballing around in the crease until Mason finally lays down, unaware that the puck as made its way into this glove.
17:15 - Heatley makes another steal in the Columbus zone and has a clear path to Mason. He tries to go upstairs, but Mason stays big in net and gets his shoulder on the shot.
12:00 - Another chance, another big Mason save. Cullen puts the Wild's 30th shot on goal with a rocket from the point, but Mason flashes the glove once again and keeps this crowd quiet.
4:35 - Carson McMillan
gets away with a dangerous hit on Antoine Vermette at the Wild bench. This seems like a good time to mention that the Blue Jackets don't have a shot on goal this period. Yet, they still lead.
3:16 - Heatley throws a shallow angle shot on goal. The rebound is kicked to Setoguchi who is also stuffed and he goes airborne over Mason.
1:30 - Columbus ices the puck after more Wild pressure. Todd Richards will call a timeout for his team.
1:20 - Backstrom is off.0:48.5 - MIN 1 - CBJ 3 - This is actually impressive, but it still sucks. Wisniewski gets the puck deep in his own end and flips it high and out of the zone. The puck flies all the way into the Wild zone, bounces and slides off the post and in. Jared Spurgeon can only watch in disgust.
0:00 - That's going to do it. The win streak will have to start on Tuesday against Anaheim.