Giddy up, State of Hockey Legion!
The Wild is back on the road and looks for its first victory outside of Minnesota tonight taking on the Calgary Pyros, also know as the Flames, at the Scotiabank Saddledome. In doing so, Mikko Koivu skates in his 500th career NHL game. That’s a lot of miles for the Wild captain, who still has his best years ahead of him.
Coming off a 2-1 overtime win against the Nashville Predators, Head Coach Mike Yeo has decided to keep things uniform as the forward lines and defensive pairing will remain unchanged from Saturday night.
Helping extinguish the Flames and getting his fifth-straight start in net will be Niklas Backstrom. The goaltender is 13-9-5 with a 1.91 goals against average, a .932 save percentage and five shutouts in 31 career games (30 starts) against Calgary.
Tonight’s healthy scratches from Minnesota are forwards Matt Kassian and Torrey Mitchell and defenseman Marco Scandella. Still on Injured Reserve with a lower body injury is Jared Spurgeon.
The Wild wears its road whites with Wild head logo, while Calgary sports its red flaming C home sweaters.
As always, you can follow the action on Twitter @mnwildLIVE.
Time to cowboy up!
Period 1 - MIN 0, CGY 0
No scoring to report after one period, but the Wild controlled that period outshooting and getting more offensive zone time than the Flames.
The Wild totaled eight shots, while the Flames registering seven, with a few coming at the end of the period. Minnesota had two power play opportunities, both stemming from Wild players moving their feet and Flames being forced to intervene.
Both netminders played well, not giving many second-chance opportunities.
If that period was any indication, the Wild are building for a solid 60 minutes, with the best hockey ahead of them.
Period 2 - MIN 1, CGY 0
Well it took some time and patience, but the Wild finally broke through to take a one-goal lead heading into the final frame.
The Wild had some forecheck pressure mounting, when the Flames tried a wraparound clearing play, but a pinching Ryan Suter broke up the attempt. The puck caromed off Suter's skate right onto the tape of a circling Devin Setoguchi, who had a clean look at the Flames' netminder. Seto decided to fake the shot and slid the puck to his left, onto the tape of Kyle Brodziak. The Wild centerman pump faked, cut to his forehand and got just enough mustard on the shot to slide it into an empty net after pulling Irving out of the crease.
The Wild have been pressuring all night and finally broke through. I think it's going to open the floodgates.
Period 3 - MIN 1, CGY 1
The Flames struck first and only in the third period.
Jiri Hudler took the puck on a 2-on-1 from the red line in and never gave it up. He used his wingman as a decoy and buried a wrist shot through the legs of Backstrom, tying the score at 1-1.
Well, for the second straight game, the Wild will need extra time to decide the game.
Overtme - MIN 1, CGY 1
No scoring and not much action to report so we'll head to a shootout.
Shootout - MIN 2, CGY 1
Jones goes first for CGY and Backstrom denies him on the forehand.
Parise pulls a nasty triple deke and slides it past Irving, 1-0.
Hudler makes nearly the same move as Parise and puts it past Backstrom, 1-1.
Koivu uses the same move as Hudler and Parise and jams it into and empty net, 2-1. Wow.
Backstrom stuffs Tanguay and the Wild gets its first two points on the road. Big win and we'll see you tomorrow as the Wild travels to Vancouver to face the Canucks. Let's do this again.