The Minnesota Wild got a much needed regulation 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets Monday at the MTS Centre. The Wild scored three unanswered goals in the second period to pull off the victory.
The Wild (17-13-4) were pressuring the Jets’ defensive zone all game, but found themselves down by two goals after a pair of defensive gaffes on the penalty kill. They kept applying pressure before they found a leak in Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson.
Marco Scandella capped the comeback with a one-time blast from the point that deflected into the net behind Hutchinson off Jets defenseman Jay Harrison with just under 12 seconds remaining in the second period. Zach Parise dropped a pass to him with Mikko Koivu driving the net on Harrison on an out-numbered rush. Scandella’s shot got through two defenders before hitting Harrison’s skate.
The Wild got on the board at the 4:12 mark of the second period. Ryan Carter capitalized in a short breakaway after Paul Postma saved the Wild’s possession. After the puck was deflected by a high stick by the Wild. Carter and Postma waited for each to play the puck. Postma eventually took a whack at the puck. It hit Kyle Brodziak, who fed Brett Sutter in the slot for a touch pass to Carter. Carter went with a backhand to forehand move at the top of the crease before roofing the shot over Hutchinson’s glove.
Justin Fontaine tied the game 12 minutes and 19 seconds after Carter got the Wild on the board. Fontaine beat Hutchinson with a shot from the right side of the crease off the rush. Sutter and Brodziak started the rush for their second assists of the night. Sutter recorded his first career multi-point game of his career. He has played 57 games over parts of seven seasons in his career. He was signed for depth in the offseason to a two-way contract during the offseason.
The Jets (19-11-7) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes and 20 seconds of the game with two power play goals. Both came after a Wild defenseman failed to clear the puck behind the net. On the first goal, Ryan Suter fanned on a clearing attempt before losing his stick behind the net. Michael Frolik picked up the puck circled out front and fired a shot through traffic into the net at the 1600 mark of the first period.
The Jets extended their lead 20 seconds into the second period on a backdoor pass from Blake Wheeler to Mathieu Perreault. The play started when Jared Spurgeon’s clearing attempt was shot right into Perreault behind the net. Perreault got the puck to Bryan Little and circled through the slot to the backdoor. Little dropped a pass toward Wheeler in the corner with Spurgeon in pursuit. Suter cycled down on Wheeler and Carter was too slow picking up Perreault for the tap in goal.
Darcy Kuemper was huge for the Wild in the third period stopping 11 shots, including several very good scoring chances. He finished the game with 28 saves.
The Wild return to action Wednesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
No. 3 – Ryan Carter. The Wild forward scored a goal.
No. 2 – Darcy Kuemper. The Wild goaltender stopped 28 shots.
No. 1 – Brett Sutter. The Wild forward recorded two assists.
Minnesota……0 3 0 – 3
Winnipeg…..…1 1 0 – 2
First Period – 1, Winnipeg, Frolik 8 (unassisted), 16:00 (pp). Penalties – Harrison, WPG (tripping), 10:53; Koivu, MIN (holding), 11:26; Niederreiter, MIN (hooking), 14:10; Byfuglien, WPG (roughing), 16:09; Harrison, WPG (delay of game-puck over glass), 16:16 Scandella, MIN (interference), 19:00.
Second Period – 2, Winnipeg, Perreault 9 (Wheeler, Little), :20 (pp). 3, Minnesota, Carter 3 (Sutter, Brodziak), 4:12. 4, Minnesota, Fontaine 3 (Sutter, Brodziak), 16:31. 5, Minnesota, Scandella 9 (Parise, Pominville), 19:48. Penalties – Halischuk, WPG (tripping), 14:26.
Third Period – None. Penalties – None.
Shots on goal – Minnesota 14-11-6 31. Winnipeg 8-11-11 30.
Goalies – Minnesota, Kuemper (28-30). Winnipeg, Hutchinson (28-31). Referees – Tom Kowal, Ghislain Hebert. Linesmen – Mike Cvik, Brad Lazarowich.