Minnesota suffered its first home loss, 4-1, against Pittsburgh on Tuesday night in front of a sellout crowd of 18,788 at Xcel Energy Center as the Wild was the last remaining NHL team to lose on home ice. RW Nino Niederreiter scored the lone goal for the Wild as G Darcy Kuemper made 18 saves. The Wild will begin a three-game road trip with its first stop Thursday against the Ottawa Senators at 6:30 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North and KFAN 100.3 FM.
Minnesota outshot Pittsburgh, 34-22, and has outshot its opponents in every game this season, totaling a 384-251 advantage through 11 games.
The four goals allowed are the most goals scored against Minnesota on home ice this season. The Wild allowed just its fourth power-play goal. The Wild ranks fifth in the NHL with an 87.1 penalty kill percentage (27-for-31).
Despite the first home loss of the season, the Wild has outscored its opponents 22-10 to earn its 5-1-0 record in Saint Paul. Minnesota went 3-0-0 on home ice this preseason, 5-1-0 at home in the 2014 playoffs and 26-10-5 in 2013-14 at Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild has scored at least one second period goal in eight of its 11 games, totaling 17 on the season which ranks first in the NHL. Minnesota has scored first in eight of its 11 games this season, posting a 6-2-0 record when scoring first. The Wild is 1-2-0 when the opposing team scores first.
RW Nino Niederreiter scored his fourth goal and Minnesota’s second shorthanded goal of the season. He has five points in his last six games (3-2=5) and has six points (4-2=6) in 11 games.
D Ryan Suter tallied the primary assist on Niederreiter’s goal. He has totaled five assists in his last six games and has seven on the season – his seven ranks T-1st on the team and T-8th in the NHL amongst defensemen. He skated 29:32 tonight and has led all skaters – Wild and opponents – in TOI in all but one game this season.
D Jonas Brodin earned the secondary assist on Niederreiter’s goal, tallying his second helper of the season.
Seven of the Wild’s nine defensemen have tallied at least one point this season. In combination, Minnesota’s defensemen have 25 points through 11 games (7-18=25), a plus-31 rating, 110 shots on net and 46 hits.
C Mikko Koivu won 15-of-21 faceoffs (71.4%) on the night and ranks eighth in the NHL with 132 faceoff wins. He has two points (1-1=2) in his last three games.
C Ryan Carter tallied a season high four shots on the night. He leads the team with 17 hits and ranks fourth with five assists in 10 games this season.
G Darcy Kuemper has posted a 6-3-0 record this season with a 1.77 GAA, a .922 SV% and three shutouts. His three shutouts shares the lead in the NHL and is a career high. Including post-season, he is 16-4-2 with a 1.72 GAA and a .930 SV% at Xcel Energy Center.
C Nick Spaling, C Brandon Sutter, LW Chris Kunitz and RW Patric Hornqvist each scored for Pittsburgh while G Thomas Greiss made 33 saves.