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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 3, Jets 1

Wild scores twice in final period to snap two-game skid

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

Recap: MIN 3, WPG 1

Koivu, Brodin, Parise lead Wild to 3-1 win

Mikko Koivu, Jonas Brodin and Zach Parise each scored and Devan Dubnyk recorded 15 saves, as the Wild take down the Jets, 3-1

  • 04:28 •

Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 3-1 victory against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center:

1. Mikko Koivu got the Wild (10-7-2) on the board moments after Bruce Boudreau made a switch to the lineup.

Jason Zucker started the game on the fourth line with Zack Mitchell and Chris Stewart, but late in the second period, Boudreau decided to move the speedy winger up to the second line with Koivu and Mikael Granlund.  

The move paid almost immediate dividends, when the trio hooked up for the first goal of the game.

"To be honest, I didn't even know [Zucker was with us]," Koivu said. "When we cleared the zone, I saw him going, and I thought, 'I guess he's with us now.'"

Video: WPG@MIN: Koivu buries wrister for the opening goal

Granlund did some dynamite work along the end wall, digging the puck free for Zucker, who gained control behind the net. With Jets players converging, Zucker centered for Koivu in the slot, who went against the grain to beat Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck glove side for his third goal.

"I was just trying to get the puck in and get it in deep and pressure their d-man," Zucker said. "I think when I originally got the puck, I was going against a forward. So I just wanted to get it past him and try to pressure him. [Granlund] did a great job coming in and helping me out."

Both Koivu and Zucker snapped lengthy droughts on the goal; for Koivu, it was his first goal since Oct. 27 (11 games), and for Zucker, it was his first point in 10 games.

"I've had a couple good talks with [Zucker] this week and I thought he was skating," Boudreau said. "I knew I was gonna go down to three lines, so if he was skating and I was gonna go down to three lines, I wanted him to play."

Video: Jason Zucker Postgame vs Winnipeg

2. Surprise, surprise: Goaltender Devan Dubnyk was really good once again.

By now, it's almost a broken record. But Dubnyk was one of the main reasons Koivu's goal was the ice breaker.

Although some nights it's been about quantity for Dubnyk, Wednesday's shots were all about quality. The Jets had just 11 shots through 40 minutes, but a few of them were of the grade-A variety.

"We did a good job; that is a fast team that looks to get chances off the rush," Dubnyk said. "They have a lot of guys that can put pucks in the net. I thought we did a great job. We countered. We countered when the turned the pucks over. We were great in our end all night. That is what we've been doing."

In the first period, Dubnyk went post-to-post to rob pinching defenseman Josh Morrissey with the glove after a fantastic centering feed from the left wall by Plymouth native Blake Wheeler.

Video: WPG@MIN: Dubnyk robs Morrissey with great glove stop

In the second, Wheeler was at it again, this time feeding Nikolaj Ehlers and sending him in alone on Dubnyk, who was up to the task. 

"He's been great," said Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin. "We feel confident playing in front of him. He's really good right now."

Dubnyk finished with 15 saves for his eighth victory.

3. Brodin's third-period power play goal gave the Wild a 2-0 lead. 

Much has been made of the man advantage, which has struggled at times this season. But things could be looking up for Minnesota, which has now scored a power-play goal in three consecutive games, its longest streak of the season.

"We got lucky there," Brodin said. "[Granlund] made a great play and I was just trying to shoot it and I hit the forward's stick there and it bounced in."

The goal came at a critical time, too. 

Clinging to a one-goal lead, the Jets appeared to tie the score on a beauty of a tip-in by Wheeler with 10:06 left. Wild coach Bruce Boudreau challenged the play, saying it was offside at the line, and he was right. Less than two minutes later, Brodin's goal -- 13 seconds into the power play -- made it 2-0. 

"We have been on the other side of that," said Wild forward Zach Parise of the disallowed goal. "At the time of the game it was huge for us. The fans loved it. And then not too long after we got the second goal. There is the big difference in the game right there."

Video: Zach Parise Postgame vs Winnipeg

It took the Jets (9-11-2) 53 seconds to answer: They netted a power-play goal of their own when Wheeler put back a rebound with under eight minutes left.

For Brodin, it was his second goal of the season and first on the power play since Dec. 5, 2013.

Loose Pucks

• Wild defenseman Marco Scandella returned from a 10-game absence (high ankle sprain). He played 12:20 and had two shots on goal.

• Parise scored an empty-net goal with 30.3 seconds remaining to ice the game.

• Hellebuyck made 23 saves in a losing effort.

• The Wild improved to 2-0-0 against the Jets this season.

• Attendance: 19,022

He Said It

"I thought he was behind the net. I'm still trying to put the pieces together in my head. We will sleep on that one. I don't think I'll ever figure it out. That was a great play by him. And fortunate for us." -- Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk on Blake Wheeler's tip-in goal that was disallowed

They Said It

"We tipped their power-play goal; it was a perfect tip. We were just about an inch shy on just about everything that happened for us tonight. And the offside reviewed goal. It was a hard fought game kind of. There were only moments of open play, really. Both teams were competing pretty hard on that puck and it was hard to get pucks to the net. The margin for error there was real small." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice

Three Stars

* Devan Dubnyk

** Mikael Granlund

*** Mikko Koivu

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