Minnesota Wild 3 - 2 Calgary Flames
For Calgary perspective, please visit Matchsticks and Gasoline
If you're a fan of the Dive for Top Five, you're going to want to skip this recap. It didn't go your way tonight.
The game started extremely slowly, and was a parade to the penalty box for the Wild. Five penalties before the first minute of the second period was over, at one point resulting in a 5-on-3 that put the Flames up 2-0. The lack of discipline was found mainly on the blue line, with the final four Wild penalties taken by defensemen, including a double minor on Tom Gilbert.
The first goal for the Flames came with just about a minute left in the first period (late period goals never hurt anyone, and the second goal came within two minutes of the start of the second. A bad stretch of hockey that the Wild then had to play nearly perfect hockey to overcome after that.
One story that may go over looked will be the elbow Alex Tanguay threw on Jared Spurgeon. As Spurgeon passed the puck away from the end boards, Tanguay was forechecking in hard. After the puck was long gone, Tanguay dropped his stick out of his left hand, raised his elbow and slammed Spurgeon across the face. It was a completely unnecessary hit, with no play made on the puck, and no attempt to drop his elbow and use his shoulder to make the hit. A dirty play that will, no doubt, go without another word said.
Mike Yeo called it a "possible concussion."
Also to note, Marco Scandella went for Xrays after blocking a shot late in the game.
Just before the midpoint of the game, the Wild decided to actually start playing hockey, as Dany Heatley had a nice one timer goal from the hash marks. Devin Setoguchi made a nice pass and Heatley buried it. Then, with just under eight to play, Darroll Powe crashed the net and got a puck behind Kipper, and just far enough across the goal line to count, tying the game.
With Spurgeon out for the game, Scandella out late, and some other minor injuries to the d-men, Matt Cullen actually played a couple shifts at defense as well. He joked to FSN that it was fun "sticking your butt out and wiggling your way back. Good to know there are still laughs to be had at this point in the season.
The rest of the third and OT went without note. The shootout would find both Josh Harding and Kipper full of saves, shutting down the first three shooters each way. Devin Setoguchi would roof a disgusting shot just behind the cross bar, and Harding would shut the door on the fourth attempt. Wild win the shoot out 1-0, and the game 3-2.
A nice win for the guys in the locker room, but no help in the Dive for Top Five.
The Bennett's Chop & Railhouse Stars of the Game:
- Josh Harding 2 GA, Stellar shootout)
- Miikka Kiprusoff (2GA, Stellar shootout)
- Devin Setoguchi (1A, game deciding goal)
Remember, when you begin and end your night at Bennett's, you're the star! Easy parking, drink and food specials and a free shuttle to and from the Xcel Energy Center. Check them out at http://bennettschopandrailhouse.com/.
- How does Koivu look in his return? He was good. No surprises.
- Can the top two lines produce anything worthwhile? Tough to tell, but the top line produced.
- Can Christensen stay hot? Nothing tonight, but he was involved.
- Does Harding continue his come back / farewell tour? Only 2 GA. Not bad. Outstanding in the shootout.
- How many lectures do we get this evening? Not one. Disappointing.