Minnesota secured a spot in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Tuesday night, earning a trip to the postseason for the second straight year and fifth time in franchise history. Minnesota earned clinched the Western Conference first wild card spot with a 4-3 shootout victory against Boston in front of a sellout crowd of 18,893 at Xcel Energy Center. RW Jason Pominville scored twice for the Wild, while D Ryan Suter tied the game with 1:05 left in regulation, before C Mikko Koivu scored the lone shootout marker. G Ilya Bryzgalov made 21 saves through overtime and stopped all three shootout attempts to move to 7-0-3 with Minnesota. Next up, Minnesota hosts its final two games beginning with St. Louis on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network and KFAN 100.3 FM.
The Wild earned a berth in the playoffs during the second intermission of its game versus Boston, when Phoenix lost to Columbus in overtime. The Wild clinched the Western Conference first wild card spot with the win.
Minnesota extended its point streak to six games (5-0-1). The Wild moved to 25-9-5 at Xcel Energy Center this season. The Wild moved to 5-1-1 against the Bruins in Saint Paul and 11-2-1 overall.
RW Jason Pominville used two goals and an assist to record his 28th career three-point game, his second this season. He opened the game’s scoring with a power-play goal 1:05 into the first period and tied the game with 10:56 remaining in the first. He leads the Wild in scoring and goals (29-28=57) in 80 games and has tallied 23 points (9-14=23) in his last 28 contests. Pominville leads Minnesota with 44 points (8-26=44) in 51 contests against Boston.
C Mikko Koivu earned his 15th career shootout game-deciding goal, tied for most in the NHL. He tallied two assists in regulation, his Wild-best 13th multi-point game this season as the Wild moved to 12-1-0 when he nets at least two points this season. He leads all NHL players with 13 assists and 16 points in 12 games since March 18. He has 26 points (4-22=26) in his last 24 games. He leads the Wild in assists this season and ranks third with 53 points (11-42=53) in 63 games.
D Ryan Suter tied the game with 1:05 left in regulation, his eighth goal of the season. He ranks T-15th amongst NHL defensemen with 43 points (8-35=43) this season. He skated 31:14, his 37th game topping 30 minutes TOI.
LW Zach Parise earned the secondary assist on Pominville’s first goal. He ranks second on the team in goals and scoring this season with 55 points (28-27=55) in 65 games. He has at least one point in 19 of the last 26 games, totaling 28 points (13-15=28) in that span. Minnesota is now 28-4-7 when he tallies at least one point.
G Ilya Bryzgalov’s shutout streak ended at 145:15 after allowing a goal three minutes into the first period. He made his 10th start with the Wild, stopping 21 shots through overtime and all three shootout attempts to move to 7-0-3. He still hasn’t lost a regulation game since Jan. 24, moving to 9-0-5 in that span.
LW Matt Moulson recorded an assist on Pominville’s second goal. He has 11 points (5-6=11) in 18 games since being acquired by Minnesota on March 5. He has 19 points (7-19=19) in his last 24 games overall, totaling 49 points (22-27=49) in 73 games this season.
C Erik Haula assisted on Pominville’s second goal. He has four points in his last five games (2-2=4), eight points (2-3=5) in his last eight and 12 points (5-7=12) in 44 games during his rookie season.
Boston netted its first-ever power-play goals against Minnesota (2-for-38) in 14 all-time meetings. The first power-play goal was also the first allowed by the Wild in its last four games, ending a perfect 9-for-9 on the penalty kill. The Wild scored a power-play goal to move to 17-for-58 (29.3%) with the man advantage against the Bruins, which is the team’s best power-play percentage against any NHL team.
RW Reilly Smith, C Patrice Bergeron and RW Loui Eriksson each scored for Boston in regulation, while G Tuukka Rask made 21 saves through overtime and stopped two-of-three shootout attempts for the Bruins.