Minnesota Wild 3-1 Boston Bruins
For New Jersey perspective please visit Stanley Cup of Chowder
For all the pre-game praise many were delivering to Tim Thomas' resurgence to the elite of the NHL goaltending ranks, it didn't matter a bit, as Tuukka Rask was in net for the Bruins. Rask made 31 saves tonight, and considering the way the Wild played with energy, urgency and passion tonight, I wonder if it would have mattered at all. Neither of the Wild's two goals against Rask were cheap.
Martin Havlat opened the scoring for the Wild at the 4:45 mark of the second period, just four seconds into the Wild's first power play of the night. Taking the faceoff, and driving to the net, Havlat made a pretty backhand move to beat Rask cleanly and bury it to open the scoring. Six minutes later, Boston would tie it at one after Brent Burns made a bad defensive zone turnover and Jose Theodore left a juicy rebound in the low slot and Steven Kampfer roofed it over him. The Wild, however, would dominate the second period, at one point outshooting the Bruins 10-1, and ended up leading in shots 16-10 in the second period. No second period slump for Minnesota tonight.
Cal Clutterbuck made the most of a prime turnover just minutes into the third, as he picked-off Marc Savard's clearing attempt and went in on Rask, beating him with a wrist shot for his team lead-tying 12th goal of the season. The Wild would then seemingly revert to a clampdown defense, not allowing Boston to get any momentum back, keeping the shots outside and clearing the area in front of Theodore.
One scary moment in the game occurred as Mikko Koivu took a nasty fall, limped to the dressing room, but did return and ended up sealing the game as Cal Clutterbuck headmanned a pass to John Madden who then fed Koivu for the empty net marker.
So, once again the good folks of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts were gracious hosts to the boys from the State of Hockey, and we appreciate them allowing the Wild to continue their mastery over the Bruins.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars:
1. Cal Clutterbuck (1G, 1 A)
2. Martin Havlat (1 G)
3. Jose Theodore (35 saves)
- Can the Wild continue their Boston domination? Damn right.
- Will Cal Clutterbuck tie Brent Burns for the team lead in goals tonight? He certainly did.
- The Wild have never allowed a power play goal against the Bruins. Does that come to a crashing end tonight? Not at all.
- Can Cam Barker take advantage of the team missing Marek Zidlicky? In 17:49 TOI, Barker neither gave up a goal, nor did he earn a point, though he did get two shots on net and actually looked to be getting into the flow of the game. More on him tomorrow.
- A 6-2-1, quietly, can it continue? 7-2-1. Not a bad 10-game stretch at all.