The Wild were looking to make their one game-winning streak in to a two game streak tonight against the Washington Capitals. They succeed, winning 5-3 over the Caps despite only getting 11 shots on goal.
The first period had Wild fans wish head coach Mike Yeo goodbye. The Capitals had two unanswered goals, the first by Marcus Johansson on the powerplay and the second by Mike Green. The Wild looked flat, unmotivated, and like they had resigned the fact they already lost the game as they were booed off the ice by Wild fans.
The second period started uneventful, but quickly turned into the most action-filled period of hockey for the Wild this season. Nino Niederreiter scored the Wilds first goal just over two minutes in, and the Wild started looking like they had some life in them.
Then, Kaptain Mikko Koivu took a puck to the ankle and actually started crawling towards the bench before a member of the medical staff helped him up. He was helped to the locker room by two people. Wild kingdom hit full on panic mode.
Less than two minutes later, Koivu was back on the ice for a 5 on 3 powerplay for the Wild (although a bit wobbly on his skates). Koivu feed the puck to Ryan Suter, who shot the puck past Capital's goaltender Braden Holtby for the Wild's first 5 on 3 powerplay goal of the season. 42 seconds later, Koivu again feed the puck to Suter. Suter's shot deflected off a Capital's defender and in past Holtby.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call HOCKEY BEAST MODE.
The Capitals were able to tie the game back up at three goals when Green deflected the puck off the boards and Niklas Backstrom went to glove it and accidently knocked it back into the net.
Fan favorite Jason Zucker was able to score the Wild's fourth goal, again on the powerplay, just before the second period ended. It was Zucker's second goal in the two games since he was called up from Iowa on Wednesday.
The third started with the Wild playing to win. Ryan Suter netted his first professional hat trick after getting a bit of a breakaway with Clayton Stoner. You read that right; Clayton Stoner played probably the most important part of Ryan Suter's hat trick, other then the part where Suter actually scored it.
Suter becomes the first Wild defenseman to score a hat trick in franchise history. After the game, he said this was the first hat trick he's ever had, and "I can't even score two goals in summer hockey". Jason Zucker mentioned after the game that he thought this was the first time the team had seen Suter really celebrate.
Besides the first period, which Suter called "terrible" the team actually played very well. Mikael Granlund stepped into Koivu's 1st line center spot without missing a beat when Koivu was injured. Yeo did not have a post game update, with the Wild not scheduled to practice tomorrow and to fly to LA Monday morning, there may not be a report on how injured he really is until Monday night or Tuesday morning.
The only Wild members without points tonight were Marco Scandella, Torrey Mitchell, Stephane Veilleux, Kyle Brodziak, Jason Pominville, Nate Prosser and the two goalies. 55% of the roster got points. Not a bad way to go out before a road trip. Next game is on Tuesday night, with a 9:30pm start time. Drink your coffee Wilderness.