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Another night, another win for your Minnesota Wild. This one wasn't quite as pretty as last night, but it counts just the same.
In the game preview, I cautioned against two teams coming in tired and taking penalties. Fortunately for the Wild, the Stars took the short end of the stick on the race to the penalty box, and the Wild were able to capitalize during a standard issue 4 on 3 power play. Zach Parise scored his first as a member of the Wild on a big one time from the top of the slot, and gave an ever bigger fist pump to celebrate.
Not much to speak of in the second period, as both teams settled down a bit, and slowed down quite a bit. The puck was bouncing all over St. Paul, and neither team could gain control of much to save their lives. Altogether not a pretty period of hockey at all. There was a pretty sweet exploding shoulder from Pierre-Marc Bouchard, so there was that.
The third was much more fast paced as the Stars turned up the heat and brought the pressure. Josh Harding stood tall when he needed to, and the Wild's defense certainly stepped up their game to match the Stars charge. For the Stars, their new kid, Chris Nilthrop, was outstanding. He looked a bit out of sorts in the first period, but after that, put a very good Wild team on lock down. A little support from his team, and he could have stolen this one.
Josh Harding knows all about being on the other end of this stick, trust me.
For the Wild, a well deserved day off tomorrow, and then the Nashville Predators on Tuesday to wrap up the homestand. Two exhilarating games of hockey this weekend, Wilderness. Man, is it ever nice to be able to say that again.
The Wild is 2-0-0 for the first time since 2008-09, when it started 4-0-0.
C Mikko Koivu skated in his 490th game, moving past Andrew Brunette for fourth place on the team's all-time list.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Josh Harding (24 Saves, SO)
2. Zach Parise (1G)
3. Pierre-Marc Bouchard (1A)
- Dany Heatley has to be feeling good. Does that continue tonight? He had an assist on Parise's goal, moving him to three points on the year. This guy has to be happy.
- Mikael Granlund is on pace for 48 goals. Can he keep up that pace? Nope. What a failure.
- Is tonight the night Ryan Suter makes his presence known? Not tonight, though he looked sharper.
- Goals from the top three lines last night. Does the fourth line chip in tonight? Nope. Freakin' slackers only held the Stars scoreless.
- Can the Wild avoid the first period lull and get right to it? They got right into it, then held on to get out of it.