Wild.com here, taking the wheel for Stanzel, who is scrambling to take care of screening players and keep the team on track for its flight to Los Angeles. In San Jose, especially with the late start, there's always the pressure to get out in time to beat the airport curfew. Quite a win though, out of the Wild. What a difference about an hour makes. Mikko Koivu
scores the overtime winner, then submits one of the more animated celebrations you'll see out of the March captain.
Stanzel will have the updates from Los Angeles on Friday.
Likely my last post until after the game. The Sharks with a couple of strong early shifts to start the third. The Wild has yet to get a power play chance tonight. You'd like to see them get just once for a chance to tie this thing up. I'm headed downstairs to make sure the screeners are ready for us. To help us beat the airport curfew out of San Jose, we'll screen here at HP Pavilion.
The Wild with a big penalty kill to begin the second, and Brian Boucher just made his best save, a kicksave on a Stephane Veilleux
bullet from the left circle. The rebound was cleared away.
Minnesota is starting to get some momentum and tilt the ice to the right, but Boucher is dynamite again, as Mikko Koivu
got loose in the left circle and swiped a pass from Marek Zidlicky right at him.
Pavelski makes it 3-0, just as the Wild looked like it was climbing back into it. That's Pavelski's second goal of the game and his 20th of the season.
End 2nd period
Well stranger things have happened. Late goals by Mikko Koivu
and Pierre-Marc Bouchard
get the Wild within a goal with 20 minutes left. The Wild's last three-goal road comeback was Nov. 16, 2006, at Nashville, when it turned a 6-3, second period deficit into a 7-6 overtime win.
We've successfully (we think) put out a couple of fires here in San Jose tonight, and we're ready to get down to business. Wild scratches are Kurtis Foster
, Derek Boogaard and Craig Weller. It's Niklas Backstrom
in net, against Brian Boucher. For those of you listening on WCCO Radio tonight, Wild president/GM Doug Risebrough will be a guest with Tom Reid during the first intermission tonight. The Sharks are dressed in their black third jerseys. Robert our intern Desimone tells me they wear them every Thursdays. In related news, it's Thursday. You tend to lose track on the road.
Veilleux/Belanger/Clutterbuck matched up against the Sharks top line of Marleau/Thornton/Setoguchi to start.
The first big hit of the game, as Brad Lukowich nails Pierre-Marc Bouchard
at center ice.
The Sharks have spent the last minute-plus deep in the Wild zone. Jacques Lemaire counters with his checking line.
Normally, if I told you I was sitting "next to the goal judge," you'd be very jealous. However, here at HP Pavilion, and in increasingly more NHL arenas, the goal judge is now upstairs in the press box, even with the goal line. I hope he has good eyesight.
Backstrom with a huge stop from point blank range after a turnover in the corner to his right.
breaks into the zone and snaps a low shot that Boucher grabs.
I'm heading downstairs. I have an intermission stop to see the Wild corporate sponsors (sitting in section 125 tonight) but I'll be back soon.
End 1st period
The Wild had played an ok road first period until late, when the Sharks scored a pair of goals.
Wednesday, 1:15 p.m. PST
The Wild will face the Sharks tonight in Game 4 of this six-game trip. It was an optional pre-game skate today – Kim Johnsson, Brent Burns and Owen Nolan did not participate.
Jacques Lemaire said he thought about putting Kurtis Foster
in the lineup tonight – in the same place he broke his femur almost 11 months ago – but, after talking with Foster, he thought it best to wait. Lemaire said he thinks Foster will play one of the two games in Southern California this weekend.
The Sharks acquired Travis Moen and Kent Huskins yesterday, and neither will be in the lineup. Nor will Evgeni Nabokov, meaning Brian Boucher will get the start. It was fun watching 44-year-old Claude Lemieux at the pre-game skate. He’s worked his way into the Sharks lineup after several years away from the game. He was gassed after doing some skating – but, gosh, he looks like he’s having a lot of fun doing it.
The Sharks held their fantasy camp today, so there were a lot of people in attendance.
It’s a 7:30 game tonight, so I made sure all the players knew about that. And unlike the usual, we’ll leave from San Jose tonight, (hopefully) beating the airport curfew. The airport is only about five minutes from downtown here, so they don’t allow planes late at night. We’ll have less than an hour flight down to LAX, and the Wild is scheduled to practice tomorrow in El Segundo, at the Kings’ practice facility.
In other news, the Wild has 60 corporate partners on this trip. They’re wine tasting throughout the day today. I met up with some of them last night in the lobby of the hotel, after frequenting my favorite San Jose wine bar, where the owner and his girlfriend were expecting me four months after my last trip to Northern California.
Robert, our intern, will also be at the game tonight, covering for Wild.com. He and I will sit a bit closer to the media. The management perch is pretty full tonight.