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The R.S.S. Feed: Dec. 17, 2008

by Ryan Stanzel / Minnesota Wild
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Dec. 17, 2008

Post-game Wrap-up
The Wild get the much needed third period goal to get the point against the Flames and climb back into a tie for eighth with Phoenix in the Western Conference. Jacques Lemaire was pleased with the effort, and the point, but stressed that when things aren't going well, mistakes end up in your own net.

Lemaire said Marian Gaborik played better than he thought he would - and more. Gaborik skated nearly 20 minutes counting overtime. That's a lot for a guy who hasn't played in more than two months.

The Wild will skate Thursday at noon in preparation for Friday's game against the Islanders. That starts a back-to-back, with us flying into St. Louis after the game for a 7:30 tilt Saturday against the Blues.

Post-game notes are below.

RW Todd Bertuzzi scored with 1:12 left in overtime, G Miikka Kiprusoff made 25 saves and C Daymond Langkow and C Craig Conroy scored a goal apiece, leading the Calgary Flames past the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in front of 18,568 fans at Xcel Energy Center.

RW Marian Gaborik and LW Andrew Brunette had a goal and an assist apiece and G Niklas Backstrom made 27 saves for Minnesota, which is 0-5-1 in its last six. The Wild plays host to the New York Islanders on Friday at 7 p .m.

RW Marian Gaborik returned from a 27-game injury absence and picked up a goal and an assist. In the last two seasons, the Wild is 25-2-4 when Gaborik scores a goal, and 14-4-3 when he has two or more points.

LW Andrew Brunette scored his 10th goal of the season, tying C Mikko Koivu for the team lead. Brunette, who also had an assist, moved past Wes Walz and into sole possession of fourth place on the team’s all-time list with 184 points (64-120=184).

C Mikko Koivu recorded the 101st assist of his Wild career, moving him past Wes Walz and into fifth place on the team’s all-time list.

Flames G Miikka Kiprusoff improved to 20-6-3 all-time against the Wild. He has eight more wins versus Minnesota than any other netminder. He is 8-5-2 all-time at Xcel Energy Center, two more wins than any other visiting goalie in Saint Paul. Kiprusoff has allowed two goals or less in 23 of his 29 career starts against the Wild, including 12 of 15 at Xcel Energy Center. He has started each of the Flames’ 29 games versus the Wild since being acquired from San Jose in a trade in the 2003-04 season.

Flames RW Jarome Iginla failed to record a point for just the 15th time in 44 career games against the Wild. Iginla’s five-game point streak (4-3=7) at Xcel Energy Center was snapped. The Flames won for the third time in seven games (3-4-0) at Xcel Energy Center when Iginla is held off the scoresheet.

The Wild is 4-4-1 this season against teams that have played the night before.

Minnesota allowed the game’s first goal for the sixth straight game. The Wild is 4-8-2 when its opponent scores first.

The Wild is 0-2 in overtime this season.

Each of Minnesota’s last 13 losses this season had come in regulation.



3rd period
A couple of intermission notes from PR guru Aaron Sickman. First, Andrew Brunette says the goal is definitely his. Second, Derek Boogaard's jersey got ripped, apparently during that fight with Andre Roy. He put the second one on while on the bench, and it apparently made quite the noise while stretching the fabric.

19:09
Mikko Kouvu nearly ties this thing up. His shot beats Miikaa Kiprusoff near side but hits the post, and then he slides the puck back at the net but Kiprusoff makes a sprawling save.

16:57
You can't tell Kiprusoff is playing his second game in as many nights. What reaction time. Pierre-Marc Bouchard tries to fire a harmless shot from the blueline and it redirects off Stephane Veilleux and heads for the far post. Kipper kicks the left pad out and makes the save.

14:56
Mikko Koivu gets a tripping minor, setting up the Flames' third power play of the game.

9:01

The Flames are holding the Wild to few chances, outshooting Minnesota 9-3 in the third.

4:43

Marian Gaborik evens the score! Andrew Brunette with a great pass from behind the net, and Gaborik beats Kiprusoff short side for his second goal in three games this season. Game tied at 2-2.

End of Regulation

We're headed to OT. Super busy with post-game notes, I'll return after the game!



2nd period

Correction: Shots were 9-9 in the first, after some deliberation, Marek Zidlicky's last second shot was credited. The Wild won 12 of 18 faceoffs in the first. Marian Gaborik skated seven shifts for 5:31. Jarome Iginla had 4:58 of ice time, mainly because the Flames had to kill two penalties. And we're underway.

17:11

Andre Roy and Derek Boogaard chatted opposite each other on a face off for a few seconds, and quickly threw - and I mean threw - the gloves down as soon as the puck was dropped. Roy went after him aggressively and got him up against the boards, but Boogaard sent him to the ice with a hit at the end.

16:44

Another power play for the Wild, after Eric Nystrom goes off for cross checking. Minnesota's third man advantage of the game.

14:56

The Flames clog passing lanes like few other teams and blocked at least three shots on that power play.

14:15

Calgary with its best chance, as Matthew Lombardi made a great toedrag move through the right circle. He went near post, and Niklas Backstrom was there.

10:56

Flames blueliner Cory Sarich loses his stick and the puck eventually comes to Cal Clutterbuck, who fires just wide of the far left post from between the circles.

8:51
I'd like to point out that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and guests in the seats behind me tonight in the press box. Gardy faced off with Kevin Gorg on FS North's Faceoff between periods, and will learn how to skate on the post-game show. Darby Hendrickson, a dad today for the fourth time, will teach him. Former Twins catcher Terry Steinbach will also be along for the ride - it should make for some good TV.

8:06

Gaborik with his best chance, swatting a bouncing puck on net. Kiprusoff juggled the shot, and Gaborik kept at it before Kipper covered up.

7:03
The Flames strike first, with a fortunate goal. Daymond Langkow, in the left corner, centered a pass for Todd Bertuzzi. But the puck went off defenseman Martin Skoula's skate and past Backstrom, who was moving to his left to anticipate a Bertuzzi redirection. It's Langkow's ninth goal of the season, and it makes it 1-0 Flames.

6:12
The Wild needed a quick pick-me-up, and that's exactly what happens! Kiprusoff stops Marian Gaborik's blast from between the circles, but the puck goes up in the air. Brunette and Koivu both crash the net, and Brunette pushes it into the net for his 10th goal - his first in six games. The puck appeared to go off Kiprusoff and back into the net. Game tied 1-1. Brunette ties Koivu for the team lead with 10 goals. Koivu and Gaborik on the asssts.

3:35
An unmarked Craig Conroy comes streaking down the slot and rifles a top shelf shot over Backstrom's shoulder. The Mike Cammalleri pass was trying to hit Jarome Iginla at the right doorstep, but the puck bounced off Kim Johnsson's stick and went to Conroy. It's 2-1 Flames on Conroy's fifth of the season.

2:42

Things could get bad here for the Wild late. Marc-Andre Bergeron gets caught pinching at the point, creating a 2-on-1. He hustles back but picks up a slashing minor, setting up the Flames' second power play of the game.

End 2nd period

The Wild with a big PK, and the Flames lead will be 2-1 heading into the third.


1st period
20:00

We were wondering which other forward would play alongside Eric Belanger and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. To start out, at least, it's Cal Clutterbuck.

18:50

The Wild with a good chance early on, but Miikka Kiprusoff makes the save on Mikko Koivu. And Marian Gaborik comes out for his first shift.

16:52

Mark Giordano goes off for interference, setting up the Wild's first power play of the game.

14:01

Kiprusoff has made a save in nearly every way possible in this building, and now in every way for sure. Eric Belanger's shot is deflected up in the air, and a retreating Kipper flips the puck over the net with his stick as he falls backwards.

9:06
Rene Bourque gets leveled by Derek Boogaard, whose pajamas from the TV commercial are being auctioned off tonight. A bone-crushing hit in the Wild zone - and a clean one. Andre Roy went after Boogaard before the officials intervened. The pair continues to yap a bit during the TV timeout. Craig Weller gets whistled on the other end for goalie interference, despite the fact he got nailed by Cory Sarich. Sarich is Nick Schultz' brother in law, and his face looked pretty rough this morning after a pair of fights last night in St. Louis.

6:50
The Wild kills off the power play. If the Wild fans still booing Todd Bertuzzi from the 2003 playoffs has anything to do with it, Vancouver's Mattias Ohlund will hear the boos from the Wild faithful for a long time.

6:37
Rene Bourque is still unappy about the hit from Boogaard, so he fights...Nick Schultz? Who is pretty unhappy about the bout.

2:51
Gaborik must be feeling pretty good, playing two out of three shifts during that span, including one with Bouchard and Belanger. Jacques Lemaire said this morning that Gaborik would have to tell him how he was feeling, and he'd take his ice time from there.

2:06

Giordano back in the box for holding, and the Wild will finish this period on a power play, essentially, unless they score. Derek Boogaard is on the wing on the power play.

End 1st period

A scoreless first that saw the Flames outshoot the Wild 9-8. A contest where it was rather obvious neither team had played the other this season. Both teams pretty cautious early on.



Pre-game warm-ups

The Wild warmed up 19 skaters - one more than are allowed to play - but we're assuming Erik Reitz warmed up in case Marian Gaborik decided he couldn't go. But Gabby was flying during warm-ups, meaning it looks like he'll make his first appearance since Oct. 14.

11:30 a.m. CST

Calgary at Wild: Game preview
We'll have Wild TV updates from Jacques and Marian  Gaborik, plus audio, game notes and more

Catch N. Schultz on NHL Network

“Day In The Life: Nick  Schultz” will debut on the NHL Network Thursday, Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. The 30-minute episode follows Schultz for an entire game day (Dec. 5 when the Wild hosted the Vancouver Canucks). NHL Network will also re-air the show on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 21 at 3:30 p.m.

It appears to be all but official: Marian Gaborik will return from a 27-game, two-month absence tonight. Since the Wild is currently carrying 22 players, it doesn’t have to make a corresponding roster move before 4 p.m. CST. It just has to activate Gaborik.

Jacques Lemaire said this morning that Brent Burns will play defense tonight, although he has liked the way Burns has played as a forward lately. That will likely bump Erik Reitz out of the lineup tonight. Colton Gillies appears the scratched forward. Owen Nolan remains out with a lower body injury. It was an optional pre-game skate this morning -- Andrew Brunette, Eric Belanger, Kim Johnsson and Marek Zidlicky didn’t skate.

The Flames didn’t skate this morning, although some players filtered in around 11:30. Jarome Iginla had four points last night, including two goals, as the Flames scored six goals in St. Louis. If you haven’t seen Iginla’s goal that was scored on his hands and knees, check it out. Miikka Kiprusoff played last night, but, seeing as though he’s played the last 28 games the Flames have played against the Wild, it’s a safe bet they’ll play him back-to-back.

Tonight’s game is on TSN in Canada, and also on NHL Network in the U.S., plus locally on Fox Sports North. The TSN crew was in Edmonton last night for the Blackhawks 9-2 win over the Oilers, so they hadn’t arrived this morning in time for the skate.

I have a couple of releases to work on this afternoon, and I’m going to see Jackson at mentoring for 30 minutes, too. I’ll spend the afternoon getting things ready for the Islanders' only trip into St. Paul this Friday, and for the quick trip to St. Louis on Friday night for Saturday’s game. We’re hearing eight or more inches of snow possible for Saturday, which will make for a fun trip home.

Speaking of trips, it took Cal Clutterbuck more than three hours to get from St. Paul to Maple Grove last night for Hockey Unplugged, and Craig Weller more than that from Woodbury. Thanks to all those fans who braved the elements, and the delay before the program started.

Tonight’s press meal is:

Egg drop soup
Miso marinated halibut
beef and lo maine noodle stir fry
wasabi mashed potatoes
salad
assorted desserts
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