Minnesota finished the four-game home stand 1-0-3 after falling to the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 in the shootout. Both teams traded chances all game long, but Sergei Bobrovsky and Darcy Kuemper stole the show in this one. In a fast-paced, low-scoring affair it proved tough to break through in an action packed game. Goals from Jason Pominville and Dalton Prout held up through 65 minutes.
It was evident in the first period that Sergei "Bob" Bobrovsky came to play tonight. The Wild finished the period with 12 shots, many of which were Grade A opportunities. Pominville put a great set-up from Mikael Granlund off the post and Parise had a number of point-blank chances. But Kuemper was not to be out-done in his own building. He made great saves in his own end as well. Mark Letestu, who finished with four shots on goal, found out how difficult Keumper was going to be tonight with his three 1st period shots getting stopped by Kuemper.
The second period pace was just as fast and furious as the first period. The Wild got the game's only power play. Minnesota was unable to capitalize on the man advantage, finishing 0-1 tonight, but had good chances from Jonas Brodin and Charlie Coyle. Columbus was finally able to break the ice when Dalton Prout tipped home a Jack Johnson point shot in behind Kuemper with 26 seconds remaining in the period.
Minnesota opened the 3rd period with a lot of shots, getting out to a 8-4 shot lead in the period. Then after a defensive zone faceoff with the top unit on the ice, Granlund would win a faceoff back to Ryan Suter. Suter then tried a Hail Mary pass to Parise but failed to connect. Parise's hustle on the play would negate the icing that would have ensued and he dished a pass to a streaking Pominville for the game-tying goal. With some great opportunities going back and forth between the teams, the game would eventually go to overtime and to the dreaded shootout.
Both Parise and Koivu would score to give the Wild a 2-0 lead in the skills competition, but Artem Anisimov and Mark Letestu would even it up. Matt Moulson would get stopped by Bobrovsky and Ryan Johansen would get the last goal to cinch the win the Blue Jackets.
The Wild have set a franchise record for reaching 80 points through 67 games.
Mike Yeo Post-Game Press Conference:
"Darn Shootout. It's tough. It kind of paints a bad picture for a good game."
"I'm glad we don't have to play that goalie again this year...seems to really like playing against us," Yeo said about Bobrovsky.
"I'm not gonna say that I'm disappointed with them, but I know there's more there too." Yeo said about the performance of the 2nd line.
It's fun hockey right now, these have been playoff-type hockey games."
"I don't want Kuemps to start thinking it's a negative. I thought he played well too."
"We can't sit here and let a shootout affect how we feel the way that we're playing the game."
MIN - 33 CBJ - 29
MIN - 17 CBJ - 23
MIN - 26/51 CBJ - 25/51
MIN 0-1 CBJ - 0-0
MIN - Suter, 28:55 CBJ - Johnson, 26:10