Hey yo, State of Hockey Legion!
Well, it’s a nice end to the NHL’s Trade Deadline Day. The Wild will celebrate by taking on the San Jose Guppies, also known as the Sharks. Obviously, the big news coming out of San Jose was the Wild acquiring forward Jason Pominville from the Buffalo Sabres. You can get all the info on the big move on Wild.com. Right now, we need to concentrate on the task at hand: beating the Sharks.
The Wild will take on the challenge with goaltender Niklas Backstrom between the pipes. He has started 18 of the Wild’s last 20 games and is 16-4-1 with a .918 save percentage and a 2.27 goals against average in his last 21 games since Feb. 9.
With the big trade and an injury to Matt Cullen, the Wild has to shake things up for tonight’s game. Nate Prosser is back in the lineup, but he’ll be suited up on the wing alongside Zenon Konopka and Mike Rupp. Torrey Mitchell will skate on the wing with Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise. Charlie Coyle will play center between Cal Clutterbuck and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Kyle Brodziak will center Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi. Got all that?
As for the blue line, only one change to note; Justin Falk will re-enter the lineup for Brett Clark, who will be tonight's lone healthy scratch. Goaltender Josh Harding remained in the State of Hockey as he continues to receive treatment for multiple sclerosis.
As always, follow the game on Twitter at @mnwildLIVE.
Period 1 - MIN 0, SJS 2
The Sharks got out to a fast start and added a power play goal later in the period. The Wild had a few good chances, but was unable to convert.
Former Wild forward Martin Havlat scored the game's first goal. He took a centering pass from Joe Thornton and put it past Niklas Backstrom. Brent Burns picked up the second assist on the play.
The Sharks extended the lead on a 5-on-3 power play. Defenseman Dan Boyle took the puck coast-to-coast, weaved through the Wild and tucked a backhand goal past Backstrom.
The Wild has a lot of work to do in the final 40 minutes, but I think they can do it. The team has skated off the jet legs and looks to start rally in the second. Stay with us.
Period 2 - MIN 2, SJS 3
The Wild started to get things rolling in the second and then exploded for two back-to-back goals less than thirty seconds apart, but San Jose answered with a flukey goal.
Former Sharks first-round pick Charlie Coyle came back to haunt the team that selected him. After making a nice entry pass to Zach Parise, who fired a backhand, he went to the net. The puck squirted out and Coyle poked home the rebound. Jonas Brodin was credited with the second assist on the play.
Minnesota then tied the game with a laser shot from Dany Heatley. The former Shark picked up the puck on the half-wall and ripped a slapper past San Jose netminder Antti Niemi. Justin Falk picked up the second assist.
The Sharks re-took the lead on a lucky bounce. Joe Thornton tried to make a centering pass, but the puck caromed off of Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner and into the net. Burns was given the second assist on the play.
The Wild was much more impressive that period and is just a sign leading into the final frame.
Period 3 - MIN 2, SJS 4
The Sharks scored the lone goal of the third period on the power play. TJ Galiardi slammed home a bouncing puck to extend San Jose's lead to two. Assisting on the play were Havalat and Scott Gomez.
The Wild will have a quick turnaround, as the team head to Los Angeles tonight to face the Kings tomorrow. Puck drop is 9:30 p.m. State of Hockey Time. We'll see you all then.