Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Minnesota Wild

Wild keeps winning against League's best

Dubnyk stops 35 of 37 shots as Wild shifts focus to Arizona

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe / Wild.com

LAS VEGAS -- Its become somewhat of a nightly routine away from home.

For a team that has struggled to find its stride at Xcel Energy Center, for a club that has been seemingly counted out at every turn over the past few weeks, the Wild went into yet another hostile environment and walked away with a pair of points in the standings, this time, winning 3-2 against the playoff-bound Vegas Golden Knights.

"Desperation, obviously," said Wild forward Eric Staal. "I thought we deserved the win. We played hard all the way through; special teams was big.

"Big points."

You can say that again. 

Considering what happened in Denver a little earlier in the night, the Wild's victory kept its tenuous playoff hopes alive for at least another couple days, setting up a virtual elimination match against old friend Darcy Kuemper and the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday at Gila River Arena.

"We've got to focus on our next game. Our next game is probably going to be the toughest game of the year," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "I think whoever loses is probably for sure out."

Tweet from @mnwild: Devan Dubnyk, Jason Zucker, Greg Pateryn and Eric Staal recap a successful trip to Vegas. #mnwild pic.twitter.com/bKiWYzxNZY

The good news is, nothing should phase the Wild about the size and scope of the contest, nor the location. Typically, teams crave the opportunity to host big games at home and bring an opponent into a hostile environment.

But for whatever reason, the Wild has had better luck in big games in other people's buildings.

In the last month alone, the Wild has gone into Winnipeg, Calgary, Tampa, Washington and now Las Vegas (for the second time this season) and come away winners.

"You scratch your head," Boudreau said. "They play so hard some nights and they had to sacrifice everything else against a very good hockey club and came away with 18 players working together and the goalie playing really well. That's how you win."

It's certainly how the Wild has to win, with Matt Dumba and Mikko Koivu out for the rest of the season and Zach Parise missing his third-straight game with a lower-body injury. 

On Friday, it was Greg Pateryn coming through with a timely goal early in the game to get Minnesota off to a good start. The tally was his first in a Wild sweater and first in 130 games, which was the longest goal drought in the NHL.

"I scored a couple in pregame skate this morning so I was feeling it," Pateryn said with a big smile. 

Video: MIN@VGK: Pateryn buries sharp-angle wrist shot

Sort of reinforces the old hockey adage that no shot is a bad one.

"Especially when you don't have one," Pateryn said. "You've gotta throw everything at the net."

That's what the Golden Knights did in the third period. Trailing the Wild by a pair of goals entering the final frame, Paul Stastny scored his second of the night past Devan Dubnyk to get Vegas within 3-2.

Minnesota's three-goal lead, built on the back of a pair of power-play goals, was down to one.

But Dubnyk was outstanding down the stretch, making 35 saves in the game, including 10 in the third period. 

Video: MIN@VGK: Dubnyk robs Stone with superb glove save

"Dubnyk was the Dubnyk of old when he goes to the All-Star Games," Boudreau said.

Great goaltending, solid special teams, timely contributions from throughout the lineup ... sounds like a pretty solid recipe for success. 

"[We need to] shift our focus and prepare the same way as today," Dubnyk said. "Focus on that one, go win that one and make sure the next game is relevant as well."

Related:

Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 3, Golden Knights 2

Video: Dubnyk, Wild hold on for win against Golden Knights

Video: Bruce Boudreau postgame at Vegas

View More