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A melancholy, hello State of Hockey legion. I’m sorry to announce there will be no In-Game Commentary tonight because I broke all of my fingers celebrating yesterday’s Wild win against the Los Angeles Kings.
Of course there will be another publication of Wild.com’s In-Game Commentary presented by Sun Country Airlines. Even if I broke all of my fingers (which I didn’t, sorry for the scare mom), I’d tough it out to bring you the commentary.
I’m in the cozy confines of the Central Minnesota Hockey Tavern to bring you tonight’s action, and I’m very excited because we’ve got a doozy of a game. Tonight, the Wild is in Chicago to play the Blackhawks at the United Center, which means bad news for the Blackhawks.
I’m glad to inform you, Josh Harding
will start between the pipes for Minnesota and he’s ready to for some action. Harding is 4-3-0 with a 2.33 goal against average, a .934 save percentage and one shutout in seven games versus the Blackhawks.
The Wild has recalled Cody Almond
from the Houston Aeros for the game. Almond will play for Warren Peters
, who suffered an upper body injury in yesterday’s overtime win against the Kings. Steven Kampfer
suffered a lower body and will miss the remainder of the season. That means Marco Scandella
will be back in the lineup for the good guys.
As for the other injured players, Jared Spurgeon
is out indefinitely with a concussion. Matt Kassian
(sports hernia) has been shut down for the season. Matt Cullen
(finger) had surgery and is out for the remainder of the season. Mike Lundin
(sports hernia) is shut down for the season after having surgery. Pierre-Marc Bouchard
and Guillaume Latendresse
are on Injured Reserve with concussions.
If fashion is your bag, the Wildl dress in their road whites, while the Blackhawks wear their classic red sweaters with black and white trim.
Fire it up Minnesota!Period 1
16:22 - After a bit of a slow start from both teams, Cody Almond
makes his presence felt as he tries to take it to the house. He wins a battle behind the net and gets a backhand shot off on Ray Emery, but the goaltender cradles the puck to make the save.
15:30 - Dany Heatley
gets away with a little slash across the hands of Patrick Kane. The Hawks forward has the puck through the neutral zone and Heatley gives him a solid whack across the hands.
14:28 - Justin Falk
and Jimmy Hayes drop the mitts. Hayes gives Falk a push and Falk reciprocates with a slash. They drop the gloves in unison and start chucking. Falk gets in one last shot and Hayes looses his footing and they tumble to the ice.
13:40 - Refs letting these two teams go at it, as Scandella gets away with a hook on Stalberg. On second look, Stalberg loses his footing more than Scandella gives him a hook. Good no call!
13:25 - Another tussle as Clayton Stoner
and Brandon Bollig. On the faceoff, Bollig is jaw-jacking with Heatley. Stoner doesn't like Bollig's tone and the two drop 'em. Good fight here as both players exchange several shots. This is getting good.
13:00 - The Hawks are on the power play and nearly break the goose egg. Kane throws the puck at the net with Sharp in front of Harding. The puck gets redirected and goes just wide of the post, probably because Sharp started celebrating before the puck goes over the line. That's a no-no Patrick. 9:49 - MIN 1 - CHI 0 - That's how you do it Devin! Setoguchi gets a breakaway pass from Heatley and goes five-hole. Emery makes the save, but Setoguchi finds the rebound behind the goaltender and slams it home. Fist pump time!
9:15 - MIN 1 - CHI 1 - Hawks respond as Patrick Sharp chips one over Harding's blocker. Nick Leddy uses his speed to turn the corner and throws a backhand pass in front of the net. Sharp picks up the puck off his skate and puts one off Harding's blocker and in.
6:44 - This game is intense, let me tell you. Bolland runs into Prosser and knocks him into Harding. Prosser gets up and chases down Bolland and all players converge. Bolland gets two minutes for interference. 6:06 - MIN 2 - CHI 1 - Whoa, what a power play. The Wild moves the puck around the perimeter, bang-bang. Setoguchi goes cross-ice to Koivu, who one-touches a pass to Heatley on the backdoor. Heater doesn't miss from there and he bangs home his 22nd of the year.
1:50 - Harding has to make a save late in the opening frame. Sean O'Donnell throws a puck to the net from the point. Harding makes the save and has to quickly track the rebound and cover because Stalberg is planted out front and looking for a rebound.
:38 - Bing! What a tricky shot by Mikko Koivu
, which rings off the pipe. Koivu takes a pass from Gilbert and, in one motion, turns and fires a rocket that Emery didn't even react to. Sooooo close.
0:00 - That period had a little bit of everything - a couple of fights, a couple of hits and three goals. More importantly, the Wild had two and take the lead to the locker room.Period 2
16:32 - Wild does a great job of penalty killing and keeps the puck out of harms way for a full two minutes.
14:32 - MIN 2 - CHI 2 - The bad guys tie it up on a nice play. On a 3-on-3, Seabrook throws a huge saucer to a cutting Stalberg, who goes around Harding and tucks in a backhand.
14:12 - MIN 3 - CHI 2 - And the Wild responds 30 seconds later with a goal from Clayton Stoner. Setoguchi and Koivu plays give-and-go and Seto takes the puck to the net. Emery makes the save, but the rebound comes out to Stoner, who is trailing the play. He bangs home the rebound for his first of the season.
13:32 - MIN 4 - CHI 2 - The Wild is rolling here in the second. Gilbert takes a shot from the point, and the rebound pops up in the air. Kyle Brodziak is out front, spins and whacks a bouncing rebound into the net. Whooooo!
12:20 - Sharp takes a cross-ice pass and releases a quick wrester from the top of the right circle. He has Harding moving on the play, but the goaltender tracks it and doesn't allow a rebound. 11:40 - MIN 4 - CHI 3 - Back-and-forth action as the Hawks pull within one. Marian Hossa takes a Nick Leddy pass and finds Patrick Kane across the ice. Kane is fading backwards and snipes one of the post and in, past Harding.
10:45 - Here we go again. Almond and Shaw square off at center ice and start chucking bombs. Both exchange shots to the face, but we'll give the decision to Almond for the body shots to Shaw's ribs.
5:00 - Nice play by Gilbert to deny the Blackhawks a scoring opportunity on an odd-man rush. Sharp tries to slam on the breaks and hit a streaking Stalberg, who was open. However, Gilbert stays with Sharp and knocks the puck down to diffuse the situation.
2:17 - Big pad save by Harding to keep the Wild's lead intact. Shaw breaks in on the left side and he tries going low to Harding's blocker side. Harding is out on the angle and kicks out the left pad for a save.
0:00 - Another entertaining period with both teams scoring twice. That means the Wild has a one-goal lead heading into the third period, and you know they're going to close it out. Period 3
18:38 - The Wild's top line is firing tonight. They apply pressure in the Blackhawks zone for several seconds. Setoguchi tries a spinning shot that goes off the side of the net. The puck bounces out in the slot to Heatley and he fires a shot that Emery has to glove. Nice shift the Wild can build on.
15:15 - The Hawks are on the power play and Leddy gets a good look on net. He goes high to the glove side from the left circle, but Harding makes a shoulder save.
14:09 - The Wild is shorthanded, but are still jumping into the offense. Cal Clutterbuck
streaks down the right side of the ice and drops the puck off to Justin Falk
. The big D-man walks down the slot, but gets a little too much on it and fires it over the net.
13:09 - Emery almost gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He comes out to nearly the blue line to play the puck up the wall. Koivu picks off the pass and jets to the middle of the ice. He drifts to his left to try to pull Emery further out of position, but the goaltender gets a piece of the shot. Close call.
7:27 - Harding makes another nice save, this time with the glove. Michael Frolick breaks down the right side and tries to go against the grain to Harding's glove. Harding snaps the catcher up to turn the shot away and it rolls into the corner.
4:51 - Harding makes another save on Stalberg, as the Hawks forward breaks in alone. Stalberg catches a pass at the top of the circles with a full head of steam. He bears down on Harding, throng to go right to left, but Harding stays with him and makes a right pad save. 2:45 - MIN 4 - CHI 4 - Chicago ties it up on the power play. Shaw takes the puck off the wall and slides the puck over to Patrick Kane on the backdoor. He has an empty net and makes no mistake about it for his second goal of the game.
:48 - The Wild nearly breaks the tie on the power play. Koivu takes the puck along the right boards and snaps a hard, cross-ice pass to Setoguchi. He's unable to one-time the puck, but gets a high, hard shot Emery is able to save.
0:00 - Well its the third-straight game the Wild has gone into overtime, so we might as well get a victory in the extra set. Overtime
3:35 - Great move by Setoguchi as he does a mohawk to beat a Hawks defender, then screeches to the net. He turns the corner, but can't get a shot on Emery as the puck rolls off his stick.
1:31 - Stoner tries for his second of the game as Brodziak steals the puck. He finds Stoner high in the slot for a shot, but Emery makes the save.
0:00 - Couple of good chances for the Wild but no dice. Shootout here we come.ShootoutKane comes in, pulls a shake move and roofs a backhand high over Harding.
Christensen pulls the puck out wide, gets Emery moving and pulls it back with one hand and puts it away. What a move.
Sharp is up and tries to go high to the glove, but Harding makes the save.
Koivu makes a stop move but looses the puck.
Bolland tries to go to his forehand, but Harding makes the save. Setoguchi wins it with a five-hole snipe. What a game for Seto and the Wild. Another big win 5-4. Boom!