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Mike Doyle's In-Game Commentary vs. Dallas

by Mike Doyle / Minnesota Wild

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What’s the good word State of Hockey legion? Welcome to another installment of In-Game Commentary presented by Sun Country Airline. On this day in 1973 Pink Floyd released the album “Dark Side of the Moon.” Now, Sun Country can’t fly you to the moon…yet, but they’ve got some comfortable flights to a ton of other destinations, so when you have some “Time” after this commentary you should check them out.

Tonight it’s “Us and Them” as the Wild takes on the Dallas Stars. I have a feeling the Wild will have the Stars “On the Run” because one-man wrecking crew, Cal Clutterbuck, is back in the lineup after missing three games with an undisclosed illness.

In net, Matt Hackett has been “Money” this season, and I’m expecting him to “Eclipse” the Stars. He made 10 saves in relief in Dallas earlier this year.

As for players not in the lineup, Nick Johnson and Kurtis Foster are a healthy scratches. Mikko Koivu skated today, but will continue to rest an upper body injury. Niklas Backstrom has a groin strain and will not dress. Mike Lundin and Justin Falk have lower body injuries. Guillaume Latendresse and Pierre-Marc Bouchard both have concussion symptoms.  

Of “Any Colour You Like” the Wild will rock their home reds; while Dallas wear its road whites with the Stars logo across the chest.

If you could “Speak to Me,” you’d probably say, “Enough with the Pink Floyd references already.”

Well, let’s do this!

Period 1

17:50 - Matt Hackett faces his first test of the night and is up to the challenge. After some offensive zone pressure, Mike Ribeiro takes the puck at the blue line and makes a rink wide pass to a pinching Adam Pardy, but Hackett slides cross-crease and stones him.

14:55 - Wild get a little bit of a break as Daley takes a point shot that Hackett handles easily. The puck bounces off his pad and it looks like Ribeiro will have a chance to knock in the rebound, but either fans on it or the puck hops his stick. Either way we're still knotted a zeros.

12:17 - Off of a line rush, Ortmeyer fires a sharp angle shot that Kari Lehtonen handles, but it gets a little interesting after the whistle. Ortmeyer stops and looks for a rebound but Daley takes exception. He ties off and jostles with Ortmeyer and Kassian and Peters tie up with a few Stars. Nothing comes out the scrum but with these two teams, expect some ruff stuff to ensue.

8:33 - It looks like the Wild are employing a fire-it-from-anywhere strategy and it nearly pays off. Setoguchi crosses the blue line and lets go of a low wrist shot that hits Lehtonen in the pads and the goaltender lets out a juicy rebound. Stoner and Veilleux are crashing the net, but can't control the rebound.

7:15 - Hackett is on his game so far. Ribeiro skates across the Wild blue line and shoots a wrist shot with a little steam for the far side. Hackett makes the initial save and the rebound kicks out to Michael Ryder on the back door. He gets a good shot on, but Hackett makes a sliding two-pad stack to keep the puck out of the net.

4:36 - Wild with a good power play and ample opportunity. Dany Heatley takes the puck and backwards shimmies to the front of the net and gets a forehand shot that Lehtonen turns aside. Moments later, Matt Cullen sets up Setoguchi with a one-timer, but puts it just wide.

3:03 - Jamie Benn shows off moves that made him an all star. He goes around Clayton Stoner, who loses his balance, but the big D-man doesn't give up on the play, recovers and foils a scoring attempt by Benn. Great second effort for the Wild defender. 

0:00 - A back-and-forth period of hockey that saw both teams with a few scoring chances. However, the Wild looked to gain some momentum that they will bring into the second and win this one.

Period 2

19:35 - That's something you don't see every day. The Wild is in the right circle O-zone for a face-off and the the puck goes from drop straight into the Wild bench from Benn's stick. Weird. 

17:05 - Hackett is tested again, but makes a point blank save on Wandell. Garbutt sets up behind the net and slides a puck to Wandell, who gets off a shot from right below the hashmarks, but Hackett makes a big pad save.

15:15 - Stoner looks like worked on his offensive skills while he was injured as he jumps into the play to make a great scoring chance. He takes a pass from Heatley across the blue line and feeds Veilleux, who gives it right back to him. The puck is just in front of Stoner and he makes a lunging shot attempt that goes just wide.

11:50 - Golden opportunity for the Wild's second power play unit. Erik Christensen skates the puck across the blue line, opens up to the forehand and fires a puck against the grain low to Lehtonen's stick side. The Stars' tender makes the save. but kicks a rebound out to Brodziak, who can't pull the puck around Lehtonen enough to slide it by. You have to like the way the Wild is putting shots on goal today.

9:22 - Matt Hackett looked like he dislocated his shoulder with a windmill glove save with Dallas on the PP. Ryder shoots the puck from the left hash mark and the rebound goes to Ribeiro on the right face-off dot. Ribeiro wires one high, but Hackett flashes a huuuugggggeeee glove save. Whoa.

4:45 - I didn't watch the Wild all that much during Veilleux's first stint in Minnesota, but I'm quickly learning why he is a fan favorite. He gives a classic face wash to Vernon Fildler and goads him to take a matching penalty.

3:31 - I almost broke the protocol in the Al Shaver Press Box and yelled at Hackett to look below him. Ryder fires a shot and knocks the rebound out of the air at Hackett. The puck is between Hackett's legs, but he can't find it. Alex Goligoski there, but not in time as Hackett finally covers the puck.

3:03- Matt Cullen takes a dangerous hit from Morrow. He skates around the Dallas net and getting hooked from behind. Cullen is exposed and Morrow sticks his leg out. Cullen is shaken up on the play and Morrow gets a two minute penalty. 

1:52 - Sure i see the game with some Iron Range Red colored glasses, but Palmieri takes a penalty that Stars fans shouldn't agree with. Spurgeon dupst the puck in and it takes a favorable hop off the glass in front of the cage. Palmieri is busting to the net and gets hauled down from behind by Goligoski, and as he goes down his stick hits Lehtonen in the mask. Palmieri gets two minutes for high sticking and broken scoring chance.

0:00 - Well, for a scoreless tie, this has been an entertaining one with a little bit of everything. The Wild applied the pressure in the second half of the period and I think they're going to get a few breaks in the third and win the game.  

Period 3

19:05 - The Wild starts the period on a power play and Setoguchi nearly scores the first goal of the game. Heatley carries the puck behind the net and finds Seto streaking into the slot. He fires a one-timer, but the puck is blocked by Mark Fistric before it gets on net. That was close, folks.

16:35 - The Wild with another good scoring chance and this time it's Warren Peters. The Stars turn the puck over and he takes a onetime on net that Lehtonen turns away.

16:15 - MIN 0 - DAL 1 - You're kidding me. The Stars take a three-on-two into the zone and Brenden Morrow slides a faulty pass to Benn that is behind him. Spurgeon is backchecking hard and looks to break up the play, but tips the puck and it lands right on Benn's stick, and he buries it over an outstretched Hackett. 

9:32 - Cal Clutterbuck is back. He absolutely blasts Trevor Daley behind the Stars net. Daley tries to escape behind the net, but Clutterbuck times it perfectly and drops him with a shoulder-to-shoulder hit.

1:31 - After a diving play by Christensen to keep the puck alive, Gilbert winds up from the point and releases a seeing-eye slap shot, that hits Lehtonen in the blocker more than the tender makes the save.

1:02 - Minnesota takes a time out and discusses how they are going to tie this thing up.

:03 - Kyle Brodziak can't believe it and neither can I. He gets a point bland shot on Lehtonen from three feet in front of the crease and the Stars goalie saves the game for Dallas.

0:00 - Solid effort from the Wild tonight, but they just can't save Lehtonen, who makes 25 saves.
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