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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 2, Senators 1 (OT)

Dumba's goal with 1:03 left in overtime lifts Minnesota

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

Recap: MIN 2, OTT 1 - F/OT

Suter, Dumba lead offense past Senators in OT

Ryan Suter opened the scoring but Matt Dumba finished it in overtime while Darcy Kuemper made 28 saves as the Wild won 2-1 over the Senators

  • 03:13 •

Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 2-1 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday afternoon at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario:

1. Ryan Suter continued his red-hot start to the season with a short-handed goal in the first period.

The goal came after Minnesota (8-5-1) took its third penalty of the first frame. Eric Staal gained the Senators' zone off the rush and got the puck to the net. Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson couldn't corral the loose puck, which popped in the air for a crashing Suter to hammer into an open net. 

It was the third shorty of Suter's career and second of the calendar year; he also had one against the Buffalo Sabres in January. 

Video: MIN@OTT: Suter opens the scoring with SHG late in 1st

Suter, who has four goals already this season, appears ready to shatter his career high of eight goals, which he tied last season.

"That's why he makes the big bucks, man," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "That's what your stars are supposed to do. So I want him to continue doing it."

Suter, along with Ottawa's Erik Karlsson, is one of the early front-runners for the Norris Trophy, awarded to the NHL's best defenseman. Now in his fifth season with the Wild, Suter is playing at his highest level since joining the club in 2012.

2. Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper looked sharp in his first game action in three weeks.

It appeared to take a few minutes for Kuemper to get comfortable, and understandably so. He left several rebounds in prime scoring areas early in the game, but his teammates were quick to clean those up. As the game wore on, Kuemper left fewer and fewer of those chances laying around.

"It's tough when, three weeks or whatever it was, when you haven't played in a while, to be clean with your rebounds," Kuemper said. "So early on, I was just focused on trying to make the save and build as the game went along. I let out a few rebounds, especially early, but the D-men and the whole team did a great job of battling in front and winning those battles and claiming those pucks. It made my job a lot easier."

Video: Darcy Kuemper Postgame at Ottawa

The Senators (9-5-1) rarely had prime scoring chances, but they had a couple of deflections that Kuemper was able to stop with good positioning. 

When they did have good chances, like Cody Ceci's open net off a rebound with the game tied in the third period, Kuemper was there to make a sprawling glove save. 

It's a good sign for the Wild if they can get Kuemper going. While Devan Dubnyk has been outstanding through 11 games, there will come a time when the Wild will need Kuemper.

In search of a winning road trip, Sunday was one of those nights and Kuemper came through with 35 saves.

"He was really good, and I'm really happy for him. He hadn't played in a while, and the last game, he would admit that he wasn't as sharp as he'd liked to be," Boudreau said. "But this gets him back into the fray, especially when we're playing 10 games in 17 days." 

Video: MIN@OTT: Kuemper denies Hoffman, robs Dzingel in 3rd

3. It seemed like the game Sunday was destined to be a low-scoring one. It certainly didn't disappoint.

Ottawa hadn't scored more than two goals in any of its past eight games and hadn't reached three goals since a 3-0 win over Vancouver on Oct. 25. During that stretch, however, the Sens had allowed more than two goals just twice.

Minnesota entered the game having allowed the fewest number of goals in the NHL (27) and is the only team in the League to have given up less than 30 this season. It maintained that statistic tonight, holding the Senators to just one goal.

The Wild were also on the back half of back-to-back games. Often times, teams in those situations must find a way to grind out a win. It wasn't always pretty, but Minnesota was able to get two points.

"Everyone's a little bit tired, but it's part of the season," Kuemper said. "You're gonna have a few back-to-backs. Bruce told us before the game, 'Most of you have played in the American League where you played three-and-threes, so you should be able to go back-to-back.' I thought everyone did a good job and if anyone was tired, you couldn't tell, so yeah, big win."

4. End of the road trip bonus thought: Matt Dumba's goal with just over a minute remaining in overtime was his second career winner in the extra session.

It also snapped an eight-game losing streak in 3-on-3 play for Minnesota. The Wild's last OT win? It came 366 days ago against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Video: MIN@OTT: Dumba dives to score OT game-winner

"Looking back at our past, it hasn't been the greatest," Dumba said. "But you know, we're a new team this year. It's a new season, new coaching staff, some new players and we're trying to build a new identity here and get these wins. We wouldn't have gotten them last year."

Video: Matt Dumba Postgame at Ottawa

Loose Pucks

• Staal's assist on Suter's goal gives him 10 points in his last nine games. 

• It was the third consecutive 2-1 game the Senators have been involved in, but the first time they've lost.

• Minnesota's penalty kill went 4-for-4.

Mikko Koivu went 18-9 in the faceoff circle, winning 67 percent of his draws.

• Attendance: 14,265

He Said It

"I don't know if penalties ever help you, but it was nice to feel it a little bit early and especially with the long layoff, just kinda getting into it early and not sitting around. So in that sense, it was good. Easy to look back and say it was good now that we killed them all, so great job to the penalty kill to give us a lot of momentum for the rest of the game." -- Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper on whether three first-period penalties helped get him into a groove early

They Said It

"It's a big point. Those points, they matter at the end. You make [the Stanley Cup Playoffs] or you don't, by one, two or three points. That point we got tonight is huge." -- Senators coach Guy Boucher

Dan's Three Stars

* Darcy Kuemper

** Matt Dumba

*** Ryan Suter

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