Can you dig it, State of Hockey Legion?
It’s Retro Night here at the Saddledome in Calgary, so we’re going old school in preparation for tonight’s contest between the Minnesota Wild and Fireballs, also known as the Flames. The Wild has had boogie fever lately, looking for a third-straight victory and has gone 4-1-1 in its last six game.
Minnesota will call on the services of netminder Niklas Backstrom, who has been a straight up Super Freak lately. He is 3-0-1 in his last four starts with a 1.42 goals against average and a .945 save percentage. Lifetime against the Flames, Backstrom is 14-9-5 with a 1.88 goals against average and a .933 save percentage.
Doing The Hustle back into the lineup are forwards Zenon Konopka and Charlie Coyle, who was recalled from the Houston Aeros yesterday. Konopka will center the third line with Mike Rupp and Torrey Mitchell. Coyle will line up on the right wing with Kyle Brodziak and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
Out of the lineup tonight will be healthy scratches Mikael Granlund and Justin Falk. Cal Clutterbuck is out with a lower body injury suffered last time out against Edmonton. Josh Harding did not travel with the team and is on Injured Reserve as he deals with multiple sclerosis.
The Wild wears its white roadies, while the Flames are in throwback hotrod red with flaming C crest.
As always, follow the action via the Twitter at @mnwildLIVE.
Get on up!
Period 1 - MIN 1, CGY 1
Despite going down in the opening minutes of the game, the Wild charged back outshooting the Flames, 13-7, and evened the score at one apiece.
The Flames jumped on the board first after the Wild was unable to convert on a 2-on-1. Dany Heatley's pass just missed Mikko Koivu for a one-timer and the Flames took the puck the other way. Jay Bouwmeester fired a pass from his own zone to Alex Tanguay, who was stationed at the Wild's blue line. He broke in alone, deked and fired a forehand shot over an outstretched Niklas Backstrom.
The Wild evened things up as Charlie Coyle picked up his first career goal. The big-bodied rookie went to the net and Pierre-Marc Bouchard made a cross-ice pass right onto his tape. Coyle made no mistake and redirected it past Flames' netminder Joey MacDonald. Kyle Brodziak picked up the second assist on the play.
Now the Wild will build on that good opening period and take it into the second.
Period 2 - MIN 1, CGY 1
After a wide-open first period, things in the second slowed down and there was no scoring to report.
The Wild had a great chance, shorthanded, as Matt Cullen and Brodziak broke in on a 2-on-1. Cullen chased down a loose puck and made a beautiful spin-o-rama pass right on the tape of Kyle Brodziak, who hit the side of the net.
THe Wild was outshot that period by the Flames, 11-7, but I have a feeling they were conserving energy and will have a big push in the third.
Period 3 - MIN 1, CGY 3
The Wild was unable to muster any goals in the final frame, while the Flames managed to get one past Backstrom, and added a late empty netter to take the victory.
Chris Butler took a point shot with a few Flames screening in front. The puck got through and the rebound popped out to Jarome Iginla, who got another shot that Backstrom saved. Matt Stajan picked up that rebound and fired the puck into the netminder's pad. But Stajan stayed with the play and squeaked the biscuit under Backstrom.
Stajan tallied an empty netter with eight seconds left in the period to ice the game for Calgary.
We'll see you all back here on Tuesday, as the Wild returns home to get a rematch against the Flames at 7 p.m.