Greetings, State of Hockey Legion!
Tonight the Wild looks to exact a little revenge, like a Quentin Tarantino flick, on the Calgary Grease Fires, aka Flames. Minnesota dropped a 3-1 loss at the hands of Calgary on Saturday. But that was in Calgary's barn. With the help of the home crowd at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild are going to burn this mother down or my nickname isn’t Django. Okay, so my nickname isn’t really Django, but when the Wild pull off a big W tonight, maybe it will be.
You might be asking yourself, “What makes this guy so confident?”
Well, let’s start with the friendly confines of Xcel Energy Center. The Wild has points in three straight games (2-0-1) on home ice and seven of nine games in Saint Paul this season (6-2-1). All-time, Minnesota is 17-11-7 against the Flames at Xcel Energy Center.
If those stats, provided by our bodacious PR team, don’t wow you, maybe you’ll be more impressed by the man between the pipes, Niklas Backstrom. In the Wild netminder’s career has posted a 1.88 goals against average and a .933 save percentage and five shutouts against the Flames.
Rookie Mikael Granlund is 21 today, and he’ll celebrate by returning to the lineup and centering a line with Mike Rupp and Torrey Mitchell. Justin Falk isn’t celebrating a birthday, but he’ll celebrate by busting up some Flames because he’s back on the blue line.
Cal Clutterbuck was placed on Injured Reserve today with a lower body injury. Josh Harding is also on IR as he continues treatment for multiple sclerosis.
Out of the lineup as healthy scratches are defenseman Nate Prosser and forward Zenon Konopka.
The Wild sports it Iron Range Red home sweaters, while the Flames fashions its road whites with burning C logo.
Per usual, follow all of tonight’s game action at @mnwildLIVE.
Period 1 - MIN 0, CGY 1
The Wild fell behind midway through that period, as the Flames jumped on the board with a power play marker.
Alex Tanguay got the Flames on the board with some pretty good hand-eye coordination. Mike Cammalleri fired a shot from the top of the right circle that went off the glove of Backstrom. Tangauy was stationed at the side of the net and knocked in the rebound out of midair.
Minnesota got out of the gate a little slow, but charged back with a number of good scoring chances. The Wild closed the gap on shots, trailing the Flames, 12-9 by the end of the first. I feel a big effort in the second brewing.
Period 2 - MIN 0, CGY 1
No scoring to report that period, but a ton of chances from the Wild.
The club's best opportunity came from the top of the left circle from the team's captain. Koivu took a rolling puck and blasted a slap shot. The puck cleared a Flames defender trying to block the shot and got past MacDonald. However, the puck rang the crossbar and bounced out of harms way.
The Wild outshot the Flames that period, 11-5, and now own a 20-17 advantage. I think it's about time Minnesota beats MacDonald, no relation to Ronald (unconfirmed).
Period 3 - MIN 1, CGY 1
The young man has a flare for the dramatic.
The Wild evened the score with 4:19 left in the third period, as Jason Zucker ties it up. He takes a beautiful feed from Devin Setoguchi and makes no mistake about it to bring the Wild even with the Flames. Ryan Suter picked up a second assist on the play.
Overtime - MIN 2, CGY 1
Well that didn't take long. With a power play carrying over from regulation, Zach Parise put a backhand shelf over the top of MacDonald just 27 seconds into the overtime. Mikko Koivu and Suter picked up assists on the play.