Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Minnesota Wild

Postgame Hat Trick: Devils 4, Wild 3 (OT)

Three takeaways from the Wild's overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Monday

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 4-3 overtime loss against the New Jersey Devils at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Monday night:

1. Nino Niederreiter stayed hot, getting the Wild on the board with a power-play goal early in the second period, briefly tying the game at 1-1. 

Niederreiter has scored six goals among nine points in his past 11 games and has now scored one goal in each of the past four games, picking up the slack once Jason Zucker's goal streak was snapped Saturday in Washington. 

The secret for Niederreiter has been getting to the prime scoring areas. His goal on Monday was nothing fancy, coming from the top of the crease where he rammed home a shot that got through Devils goaltender Cory Schneider.

"I think that's my game," Niederreiter said. "I have to go there to be successful and that's what I've been trying to do. Getting more shots on net and I'm glad I'm getting rewarded at the moment."

Video: NJD@MIN: Niederreiter buries PPG on the doorstep

Niederreiter has been one of the bright spots for Minnesota over the past handful of games. For 20 2/3 periods, only he, Zucker and Eric Staal had provided goals among Minnesota forwards. Mikael Granlund scored two third-period tallies to make it four scorers over 21 periods (seven games).

Still, without the benefit of a 50-goal scorer on the roster, Minnesota's offense has to come by committee, and right now, there simply aren't enough guys -- at least up front -- helping to drive the bus.

"You'd certainly like other people to score, and you've gotta believe there's other people who are gonna start scoring," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "But it's not hard if you're the other team and they just check a certain number of guys if the other guys aren't gonna score. 

"To score goals in this League, sometimes you have to pay the price and go to the net and take one off the noodle or take one off the [rear] or something. But if you go to the net, those are the things that are gonna happen."

Granlund's goals came 7:10 apart in the third to help the Wild rally from two goals down and earn a point. His second came with 1:36 remaining on the clock and Devan Dubnyk on the bench for an extra attacker.

Video: NJD@MIN: Granlund fires shot five-hole for PPG

"It's nice to score, at the end of the day, we lost the game," Granlund said. "When you shoot the puck, pucks will go in eventually. just try not to get that blocked, and just try to hit the net, and sometimes it's going to go in."

Video: NJD@MIN: Granlund blasts home one-timer to tie game

2. With offensive point producers and big bodies willing to go to the front of the net still needed, the Wild got a big one back on Monday in the form of Charlie Coyle. 

Coyle, who missed 16 games because of a fractured leg sustained in a game in Chicago last month, made his presence known early, creating a scoring chance on his first shift and stringing together several others over the course of the evening. 

"I thought he had tons of energy in the first period," Boudreau said. "He looked really good and you could see he was getting a little more tired as the game went on. He's going to be a big help to our team."

Video: Bruce Boudreau postgame vs Devils

Coyle began the night on the fourth line with Matt Cullen and Tyler Ennis, and was also on the power play, but worked his way up the lineup as the game wore on. 

He began the third period on a line with Zucker and Staal, a spot he could find himself back in in the coming games. 

"He's such a great player. It's good to have him back," Granlund said. "He's just going to get better. We need that big body out there."

3. Devan Dubnyk was the victim of a couple more unfortunate bounces.

The goaltender went through a stretch a couple of weeks ago where it seemed like every quirky way a puck could get past him, it did.

That was certainly the case again on Monday. 

In the first period, Dubnyk stopped an initial shot from the left wall by Brian Gibbons. The puck laid in the blue paint and Adam Henrique touched it at some point, but it appeared as though the puck was knocked in off the glove of a sliding Gustav Olofsson, giving New Jersey a late first-period goal and spoiling a frame the Wild had completely dominated up until that point.

"That's why you put pucks to the net and that's what they did," Dubnyk said. "We talked about it. You've got to create your own bounces. We talked about starting to go to the net more."

Video: Locker Room reaction after loss to Devils

Then, after Niederreiter tied the game, the Devils took the lead right back on a Steven Santini goal that came from the right half-wall and bounced in off Olofsson, who was standing on top of the crease. 

"It was frustrating. You can try to blame it on puck luck or whatever, bad bounces, but I think I gotta be better from the start," Olofsson said. "It was one of those games I felt like it was frustrating but I just tried to shake it off and keep playing because we had to battle back and we needed everybody on the bench.

"There's always things you can do to prevent goals, and I could have boxed out a little earlier. Both were unlucky bounces, but there's little things always I think you can do."


Loose Pucks

• Granlund's goals were his second and third of the season and first since Nov. 6, a drought of six games. Granlund also assisted on Niederreiter's goal and now has at least one assist in four consecutive games, posting two goals and five assists in that span. 

• Dubnyk finished with 21 saves.

• Schneider stopped 33 of 36 shots faced to earn the win.

• Devils defenseman John Moore scored the game-winning goal 52 seconds into overtime.

Mikko Koivu finished with two assists.

• Attendance: 19,048


He Said It

"It takes a kick in the butt to get us going sometimes, and we talk about self-preparation all the time. But it was one of those things today. They get two in off us in the beginning, and I think we've had a lot in this first 20 games here. We go in spurts, but we don't go in 60 minutes. Until we learn to go in 60 minutes, we're not going to go too far." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau


They Said It

"They probably had the majority of the territory early in the game but one of the big things for us is you want to be able to funnel pucks to the net. One of the things we've talked to our players about is getting better at getting to the net-front. That's what happens when you funnel pucks in there and get traffic, sometimes you get bounces like that." -- Devils coach John Hynes on getting the benefit of the bounces


Three Stars

* John Moore

** Mikael Granlund

*** Will Butcher

View More