Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 1-0 win against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center:
1. It's not surprising that Thursday's game was as low-scoring as it was.
The game featured the NHL's two stingiest goaltenders in Boston's Tuukka Rask and Minnesota's Devan Dubnyk.
Rask entered the game leading the League with a 1.54 goals-against average, just ahead of Dubnyk, who was second at 1.60. Dubnyk's .948 save percentage was slightly better than Rask's .945, and both were tied with Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky as the only goaltenders in the NHL with three shutouts.
Video: Devan Dubnyk Postgame vs. Bruins
With the 25-save win, Dubnyk now takes over sole possession of the NHL lead with four shutouts. He has allowed nine goals over his past nine games, and Minnesota has given up a League-low 29 goals this season.
Perhaps more impressive has been Dubnyk's abilty to stay in games despite a lack of offensive support in several of those contests. In those nine games, Dubnyk has five wins. Including Thursday, the Wild has scored eight goals in the past six games Dubnyk has started.
"It's not my job to score. It's my job to work with the guys and defend," Dubnyk said. "I have zero complaints with how the guys have been defending for me and playing. You take pride in that. This is a fun group to be out on the ice with right now in our end. You enjoy that time while they're playing as well as they are for me. I've got no question in here that these guys can put the puck in the net. Sometimes it takes something like that to turn it around."
"It's got to be tough on our goalies. We're not scoring a lot of goals," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "Mind you, we're trying to score. I mean, but they've been so good, mostly [Dubnyk], but [Kuemps] in Ottawa was outstanding, as well. You keep waiting for it, but hopefully we don't exhaust them out in practice and they can stay mentally into the games."
Video: BOS@MIN: Dubnyk dives to poke away breakaway attempt
2. After coming up on the short end of a 1-0 game on Tuesday against Calgary, the Wild was a 1-0 winner against the Bruins (10-7-0) on Thursday.
It took almost all 60 minutes to decide it, and it wasn't pretty at times, but the Wild (9-6-1) got it done on a goal that was credited to Mikael Granlund with 44.5 seconds remaining in regulation.
After a good shift by Granlund, Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise, Granlund gained control of the puck to Rask's left and simply flipped the puck toward the front of the goal. Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid, who had just peeled himself off the ice after getting bumped in the crease, saw it deflect in off his skate and past Rask.
With how both goaltenders were playing, it was fitting that the only goal was an ugly one.
"There [were] really good goalies out there and good defensive teams. It's going to be a close one and I'm glad we got one at the end," Granlund said. "[Rask is] a great goalie and when you get in the kind of rhythm he's at right now, it's easy to play for sure."
Video: BOS@MIN: Granlund's shot deflects in for late lead
3. The tough luck player of the night for the Wild? Jason Pominville.
Playing against one of the hottest goaltenders in the League, Pominville had a pair of golden opportunities in the second period but could not find the scoreboard.
His first chance came after a fantastic centering feed by Jason Zucker on a 3-on-2 break, finding Pominville in the slot. But his quick shot was stopped by a sliding Rask.
Late in the period, defenseman Jared Spurgeon passed from the point to Pominville near the left hash. The veteran winger had enough time to settle the puck down and shoot, but Rask got the glove up to keep the game scoreless.
• Bruins forward David Backes had a goal disallowed at 14:36 of the second period when a shot from the point deflected into the net. The Wild challenged whether the play was offside and won the review when it was confirmed that Boston forward Ryan Spooner entered the zone ahead of the puck.
• Wild defensemen Jonas Brodin and Christian Folin were each credited with assists on Granlund's goal.
• Rask finished with 28 saves.
• Attendance: 18,774
Video: Mikael Granlund Postgame vs. Bruins
He said it
"We caught a break with the offside in the second period. When that goal gets called back and we go 0-0 into the third, we know it's probably only going to take one [goal]. It might be a bounce. We pushed and pushed and pushed all third period and put pucks to the net. That was it. That was a pretty incredible shift by that group at the end of the game." -- Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk
They said it
"We figured it was going to be an ugly one; we just thought we had the ugly one. Turns out they had the ugly one and ours was disallowed. Things like that are going to happen." -- Bruins forward David Backes
* Devan Dubnyk
** Tuukka Rask
*** Mikael Granlund