And I'm back. Miettinen made it 3-1 late in the second for the Wild, but Marc Staal just replied to get the Rangers back within a goal. Another barnburner at Xcel Energy Center.
Michal Rozsival with a good chance from the right circle, but he fired high and wide.
Happy to report that our Boeing 737-400 is about 30 minutes out from MSP. If you want to know why that makes me REALLY happy, talk to anyone who has flown into MSP in the last four months or so. Can't wait for that new runway to be open within the week!
Brent Burns has made a couple great defensive plays tonight, and he had a super pokecheck there, leading to a couple of chances for Sykora and Havlat on the other end.
Shots are 7-5 New York in the third and the Rangers have come on a bit, but haven't seriously threatened Backstrom since the Staal goal.
End of game
Wild wins 3-2! Off to Pittsburgh. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter.com/mnwild for total info from the road!
We are underway in the second! For those who missed Sykora's goal...here it is, courtesy of Wild.com's Travis Brillowski: http://wild.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?id=50134
And we have some controversy. Aaron Voros pushes Eric Belanger over - right onto Niklas Backstrom
. Fisticuffs nearly ensue, but calmer heads prevail and no penalties are called.
Dane Byers has a memorable second NHL game. The full travel day, getting into the arena after warm-ups had begun, and now he scores his first NHL goal. Byers put a rebound by a prone Backstrom, and we are tied 1-1.
Great round of applause for 14 New York firefighters, some of whom were on duty on 9/11. They are Rangers fans and do one road game a year. One of the firefighters's brothers is a chef here in town, so this was the place to go.
The Wild wastes little time recollecting the lead. Petr Sykora picks up the puck at the blueline on the right hand side, feeds ahead to Marty Havlat in the circle, and he hits a cutting Eric Belanger in the low slot. Belanger pops the puck by Lundqvist for his third goal of the season. It's 2-1 Wild.
Martin Havlat has a partial breakaway but Lundqvist made the save.
Minnesota with a chance to extend the lead on the power play, as Michal Rozsival skates to the box.
The Boogeyman with his best scoring chance in quite some time, standing in front as Owen Nolan fires away. Boogeyman knocked off the puck while whacking at the rebound, and let's be honest - that's not easy.
Wild gets away with one there, as Brandon Dubinsky had a near open net to shoot at and slid the puck wide left.
Heading downstairs. Be back for the third.
Winner of tonight's costume contest just led us in Let's Play Hockey - a Wisconsonite dressed as a vampire but with "It's In Our Blood" written on the back. Very catchy. Video of the contest here
. And brand appropriate. Updating an earlier report, Derek Boogaard is in, and Benoit Pouliot is out.
A giveaway in the corner leads to a wide open attempt in the low slot from Artem Ansimov, but Backstrom makes the save of the game. Easy to say two-plus minutes in, but it will be hard to top that one, especially for a Wild team that has allowed the first goal in nine of 12 games.
An early power play for the Rangers, as Eric Belanger goes off for tripping. Excuse me, kneeing.
A good kill, and now 1:56 of power play time upcoming as Marc Staal (it's been a long day, I did have to look at my scoresheet to make sure I had the right Staal brother) goes for kneeing. You may not see two kneeing calls in a season. And we have two of them in the first half of the first period tonight.
Lundqvist is tested for the first time. Nick Schultz gives the puck to Belanger at center ice and streaks towards the net. Belanger finds Sykora, whose centering pass is deflected by Schultz, but Lundqvist made a nice stop.
, who was actually up with the Wild two seasons ago before Aaron Voros got the recall and stayed the entire season, just hit Voros into the boards behind Backstrom.
So the Rangers' recall today, Dane Byers, is in the lineup despite a long travel delay that had him walk in the arena after warm-ups. It is legal to play without warming up, yes.
They don't play together often, but Todd Richards may be onto something with Miettinen and Nolan out there together. Nolan just fired a shot through a screen that was deflected just wide by Miettinen.
Another flurry of activity for the Wild, which is outshooting the Rangers 9-5 in an impressive first period thus far.
And for the fourth time in 13 games, the Wild has a 1-0 lead! Terrific job by Petr Sykora keeping the puck in. Fires a shot off the end boards to Andrew Brunette. Bruno slips a pass to Mikko Koivu in the right circle, and Koivu, instead of shooting, sends a cross-ice pass to a cutting Sykora, who beats Lundqvist easily for his second goal in as many games.
End 1st period
Dominating first period for Minnesota, which leads 1-0 and is outshooting the Rangers 12-5. The Wild leads after one period for the fourth time in 13 games this season.
Miss me? The R.S.S. Feed is back for tonight during the game, and likely some updates from Pittsburgh tomorrow. You can't get a much tougher back-to-back than at home on a Friday and at Pittsburgh on a Saturday. Don't forget to follow the Wild on Twitter! (http://www.twitter.com/mnwild
The Wild and tonight's opponent, the N.Y. Rangers, are currently on the ice for warm-ups. Every eligible Wild skater is going through warm-ups, although we believe Derek Boogaard is scratched. Former Wild winger Marian Gaborik is out of the Rangers lineup, along with Sean Avery and Christopher Higgins.
Even without Gaborik, still nice to see the historic Blueshirts (although tonight it's the Whiteshirts) sweaters on the ice here at Xcel Energy Center. Last time New York was here, I was doing press box PA and Gabby torched the Rangers for five goals.
The Wild will have a bite to eat post-game here at the arena, with food delivered from a local Italian restaurant. We're due to fly out a bit after 11, and it's a two-plus hour flight to Pittsburgh. Add in the time change, and it will likely be 2:30 or 3:00 a.m. when we get into our hotel in downtown Steel City.