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Kelly Erickson's Five Takeaways vs. Columbus

by Kelly Erickson / Minnesota Wild

Following Wild games, occasionally Digital Media Coordinator Kelly Erickson will give the Five Takeaways that she remembers from the contest. Tonight, she looks back at a 2-1 shootout loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets:

If only everyday could be celebrated like St. Patrick’s day. In a tough, fast-paced contest backed by a vocal crowd — that quickly put to rest any attempts to start the wave — the Wild and Blue Jackets battled in a playoff-like contest.

Neither team gave up much throughout 65 minutes (we’ll get to that) and settled things in a four-round shootout, the Blue Jackets taking the victory, 2-1. It was the Wild’s third overtime and shootout game of its four-game home stand, and was unable to claim the extra point in any of the contests. Still, claiming points in each of those four games, going 1-0-3 for five points, is nothing to scoff at especially in hard-fought games like tonight.

Tonight was the definition of a goaltender’s duel. After the opening 20 minutes, the game remained goalless and looked as if the first team to score would walk away the winner.

Netminders Darcy Kuemper of the Wild and Sergei Bobrovsky of the Blue Jackets each gave up just one goal, forcing the eventual shootout. Bobrovsky took first star honors on the night with the win, stopping 32 Wild shots through overtime — though he did get a little help on some (we’re getting there, I promise).

Meanwhile Kuemper made 28 saves on the night before falling in the shootout, but his effort still earned him the third star of the game. The lone goal Kuemper allowed came at the 19:38 mark of the second on a Dalton Prout shot from the blue line. The puck worked through traffic and deflected off two Wild players and in. 

Facing a 1-0 deficit in the third and a hot goaltender, the PPG Line came through once again for the Wild.

The triumvirate got to work early in the third. Parise chased the puck down behind the net on the forecheck, turned and saw Pominville creeping towards net. He passed and the right winger fired it by Bobrovksy for his 25th goal of the season to tied things up 1-1. Parise went berzerk and essentially slammed into his linemate in jubilation for one awesome hockey hug. Parise later told the media it was a set play. The goal extended the linemates’ point streaks to four games, both with five points — Pominville is 3-2=5 while Parise is 2-3=5.

With the goal, Pominville becomes the seventh Wild player to score 25 in a season, and the 13th time the mark has been eclipsed. He’s the first to hit the mark since Andrew Brunette and Guillaume Latendresse did in the 2009-10 season. Ryan Suter registered a secondary assist on the play, his 30th apple of the season. He is only the second defenseman in franchise history to hit the mark, joining Marek Zidlicky who hit it twice.

Sometimes the post is a goaltenders best friend. Tonight, Bobrovsky and his posts created a dynamic duo to keep the Wild at bay for much of the game.

In the first period, Parise found Pominville backdoor, who chipped it up toward the twine. The shot looked like it was going to give the Wild a 1-0 lead, but it rang off the pipe and play continued.

A period later it was Parise who struck the pipe off a Pominville feed. The right-winger found Parise low in the slot and the left-winger tapped it towards goal, only to hit the post. Clayton Stoner was the third member of the Wild to find iron tonight. Stoner ripped one off the pipe on a shot from the blue line in the second.

Last game the Five Takeaways unveiled a new nickname for Granlund for his wizardry on the ice: Grandolf. Well a fan made it into a meme and it’s fantastic. Thanks for reading and helping Grandolf become a thing.

A Finnish site caught on, causing the Takes to go international. Just scroll to the bottom and look for “Doyle” and “Grandaulf.” I’m not sure how many of you in the State of Hockey can read Finnish so a fan translated a part of it. Apparently it reads “For this reason a man served him a new nickname, ‘Grandalf,’” referencing Granny’s magical skills. Word.

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