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Dubnyk stands tall as Wild snaps skid in Vancouver

Goaltender makes 29 saves as Minnesota starts road trip off with a win

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /

VANCOUVER -- Any veteran goaltender knows that at some point, he'll be relied upon to win some games.

With his team holding a one-goal lead headed to the third period, Devan Dubnyk knew Tuesday would be one of those times.

Dubnyk answered the bell in a 3-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena, all at once, snapping a three-game losing streak for his team while starting off the Wild's three-game road swing through Western Canada in style.

Tweet from @mnwild: "It's not like we were just sitting back in our end...we were getting pucks deep and going to work. It was just a good way to win for us."Dubnyk, Staal, Granlund & Zucker on #MINvsVAN 👇

"It's OK. I've said before, when you have a one-goal lead, I've been in periods where we've been outshot 15-2 but it's in control, guys are defending," Dubnyk said. "It's what you do. It's not sitting back, it's being smart and protecting the house and defending because you've earned a one-goal lead. 

"I thought our guys did a great job of that. And it's not like we were just sitting back in our end trying play goal and not allow pucks through. We were getting pucks deep and going to work and it was just a good way to win for us."

Dubnyk stopped all 14 shots he faced in the third period on Tuesday, and made 29 saves on the night, making a trio of power-play goals stand up in the win. 

For Dubnyk, it snapped a four-game streak during which he allowed four goals each time out. The Wild lost three of those games, and he was pulled in the fourth -- a contest Minnesota eventually won against Ottawa.

The Canucks scored on their first shot of the game on Tuesday, but Dubnyk's game seemed to get better as Vancouver's did. After making five saves in the first, Dubnyk turned away 10 more shots in the second as the Wild scored 55 seconds part late in the period, turning a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead.

"That was an important game for him," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "It could have gone south for him when the first shot on net goes in, everybody is looking to the stars. But he hung in there, and mental toughness for him, and battled his way through."

Perhaps the biggest moment of the game for Dubnyk came nearly eight minutes into the third period when rookie Elias Pettersson blocked a shot at the Wild's offensive blueline. Pettersson chased down the loose puck at center ice and rifled a shot on goal. Dubnyk flashed the leather, denying Pettersson with a stop that calmed the rest of the group down.

Video: MIN@VAN: Dubnyk uses glove to stone Pettersson

Dubnyk was faced with almost the exact scenario five weeks ago in this very building, when Pettersson blocked a Matt Dumba point shot and cruised in alone, rifling a shot past Dubnyk -- that turned a one-goal Canucks lead into a two-goal one with 13 minutes left.

It was perhaps the most defining moment of a 5-2 Vancouver win here on Oct. 29

This time around, Dubnyk's stop gave his team the momentum it needed to close things out and earn two points.

"We got a break, and Duby made a big save there," Boudreau said. "I think that added to his confidence."

That confidence showed, as Dubnyk, after two tough weeks of not getting the kinds of results he had hoped for, was able to lock things down late.

"We were talking between periods that we've been talking for two weeks to make amends for two rotten weeks of coming to the rink every day, and we could do it in one period," Boudreau said. "Duby ... probably wanted to make the biggest amends, and he did. 

"When you're struggling, quite frankly, in the third period and you let games slip away, you usually play back a little bit and you force it a little bit. But you've gotta get that win to get the confidence going for the next game."


Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 3, Canucks 2

Video: Suter, Zucker propel Wild to 3-2 win against Canucks

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