What a game for the Minnesota Wild. They started off flying right from the beginning and never took their foot off the throat.
Matt Moulson teamed up with Erik Haula to get the first goal of the game. Moulson flipped the puck up to Haula, who managed to outwork the Robert Bortuzzo (and by outwork I obviously mean straight up embarrass), despite Bortuzzo being practically on top of him. Haula flipped the puck past Jeff Zatkoff with ease, and the Wild were up 1-0 early in the 1st.
Mikko Koivu continued his domination on the ice as well. He scored the Wild's second goal after a brilliant play by Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle. Personally, I think the celly by Koivu after that goal was one of the best I've seen out of the Kaptain this season.
Stephane Veilleux scored the 3rd goal of the game, which happened to be on the Wild's fifth shot of the game. Cody McCormick picked up the lone assist on Vielleux's goal, which truth be told was pretty fabulous and not a typical "grinder" goal.
The Wild continued to bring the hurt against the Penguins when McCormick scored his 2nd goal in a Wild jersey after being caught out with Parise and Coyle. It became pretty clear at this point that the Pens had just given up. After clinching the Metropolitan division earlier this week, they really didn't have anything else to play for.
The Wild looked fantastic all game. The first powerplay of the night looked great, and was everything you'd want to see out of a PP. The penalty kill looked strong and absolutely shut down the Pens. They had maybe one or two decent chances on their 3 powerplays.
Kyle Brodziak was absolutely on fire all night, and completely shut down Sidney Crosby. For a guy who gets no love from most Wild fans, he was clutch all night long. Crosby finished the night with zero shots and was only 29% in the face-off dot.
Ilya Bryzgalov was fantastic in night as well. The team in front of him did a great job at limiting the amount and quality of shots getting through to him, but he was right there to stand up tall when a shot did get through and made some pretty insane saves.
A well-deserved win for a guy most fans weren't really sure about when e was acquired. There are some games where a goalie gets a shutout thanks to the hard work of his team (and not a lot of hard work for himself), or a game where the goalie stands on his head. But this was solidly combination where the team worked together and holy crap was it amazing hockey.
If the Wild continue into the post season playing like this, they may be able to play spoiler for a while. With tonight's game, the magic number falls to 3 over Phoenix. Because Dallas has a game in hand, the magic number for them is 6.