This game had a preseason feel to it from the beginning, and it stayed feeling that way all game.
Zach Parise and Jason Pominville both scored in the first to give the Wild a two goal lead. Parise's goal was a PPG, and Pominville connected on a great pass from Jared Spurgeon.
The Wild spent much of the second period just kind of, well just being on the ice. While some fans were upset about that, if you look at the grand scheme of things, that's exactly what the Wild should have done.
This is the Panthers, one of the worst teams in the NHL. The Wild had a comfortable 2 goal lead, and the Panthers certainly didn't seem to be threatening that lead. Sunday is a must win game against a division rival, so why not let the team sit back a little and conserve their energy?
This tactic bit them in the butt once the third period started however. The Panthers managed to get a 5 on 5 goal (NOOOOOOO!) about 3:30 into the third period. This was of course, AFTER an offsides was completely missed by the officials.
Former Gopher Nick Bjugstad tied the game up shortly after that, leaving the Wild to probably regret letting the game slide away from them a bit. But have no fear, Charlie Coyle is here.
Coyle gave the Wild the go ahead goal off a great pass from Ryan Suter to Mikko Koivu, and eventually to Coyle. This is great news for Coyle, who has been upset with his game since returning from injury.
Fun side story about that. I hadn't even noticed that Coyle only had one assist since he came back. He has been such an integral part of the team that I had just assumed he scored. How great is it that he can be such a beast on the ice that most people (or maybe just me) don't even notice that he hasn't scored?
Short wrap tonight folks, but feel free to continue the discussion as we wait for Sundays game.