LW Jason Zucker scored his first NHL goal and LW Torrey Mitchell scored his first goal with the Wild 32 seconds apart midway through the second period, and rookie G Darcy Kuemper made 29 saves in a surprise start for his first NHL win, leading Minnesota past the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in front of 19,117 – the second largest crowd of the season at Xcel Energy Center. LW Dany Heatley scored his first goal in 10 games for the Wild, which plays in Edmonton Thursday at 8:30 p.m. CT.
Recalled from AHL Houston yesterday, LW Jason Zucker scored his first NHL goal in his seventh game – first this season. Zucker, the team’s second-round pick (No. 59 overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, tied the game at 13:13 of the 2nd period. Zucker became the first Nevada-trained player to score in the NHL. Zucker was born in Newport Beach, Calif., but moved to Nevada.
C Torrey Mitchell scored his first goal with the Wild – his first in 18 games dating back to March 26, 2012.
LW Dany Heatley scored his fifth goal of the season – snapping a nine-game streak without a goal. Three of his five goals this season have been the Wild’s first goal, and 18 of his 29 over the last two seasons have been the Wild’s first goal.
C Mikko Koivu skated in his 503rd career game, passing Marian Gaborik for sole possession of third place on the Wild’s all-time games played list. LW Pierre-Marc Bouchard ranks second with 535 career games, while former D Nick Schultz holds the franchise mark with 743 games. Koivu had an assist and is tied for the team lead with 12 points (3-9=12).
LW Johan Larsson made his NHL debut after being recalled from Houston (AHL) yesterday. The 20-year-old skated 14:02
G Darcy Kuemper won his first NHL game in his second NHL start, making 29* saves. Kuemper started with G Niklas Backstrom ill.
C Mikael Granlund posted an assist for the third straight game.
The Wild rallied from two goals down to beat Detroit for the first time since the teams’ first-ever meeting, Dec. 27, 2000, at Joe Louis Arena.
Minnesota improved to 4-1-5 in its last 10 games against Detroit at Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild allowed a Pavel Datsyuk goal 20 seconds into the second period, the fastest goal ever to start a middle stanza by an opposing team at Xcel Energy Center. The old mark was 36 seconds, set by Edmonton’s Ryan Smyth, on April 6, 2006.
The Wild improved to 4-0-0 while wearing its green jerseys this season.
Tonight marked the fifth time in 46 all-time meetings the Wild has scored three times in a period against Detroit.
The Wild won after trailing by two goals for the first time since March 22, 2012, a 3-2 shootout win over Calgary.