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Minnesota Wild @ Ottawa Senators: Game Recap

It was a shaky start, but the Wild were able to get two points against a team they should beat.

While Jason Pominville's goal was nice, nothing can compare to the level of trolling Dany Heatley levied upon the Senators.
While Jason Pominville's goal was nice, nothing can compare to the level of trolling Dany Heatley levied upon the Senators.

Shortly before the puck dropped in Ottawa tonight, there was some weirdness, as it was reported that Jason Pominville was going to be a very late scratch for the game. As the speculation of how the lines were going to adjust was ramping up, it was then announced that Pominville in fact would be playing.

Not quite sure what that was all about.

Anyway, all the Wild action early on was due to Pominville, as he drew a penalty shortly into the game, which was pretty good, as the Wild had the league's 5th best power play coming into tonight. Too bad the Wild forgot temporarily that they were on the power play, and decided to impersonate their horrible play at penalty kill, thus breaking down and allowing Kyle Turris to score on a nice pass from Clarke MacArthur.

After that Jason Pominville surveyed his teammates, shook his head in disgust, said "Really? Really, guys? Do I have to do everything myself around here?", reluctantly took a pass from Zach Parise , and deposited it into the net for his 13th goal of the season. That goal represented over 20% of the Minnesota Wild's output, so thank God the Wild traded everyone to get this guy.

But all was not well in Wild land, as the Ottawa Senators had the puck out of their zone for a large portion of the period, and pelted Josh Harding with 18 shots, scoring another goal when Mika Zibanejad took advantage of the fact that the Wild allowed the population of Delaware to camp out in front of his crease. Yeo definitely had his frowny face on.

The ice stopped being tilted in the second period, as Jonas Brodin scored three minutes into the second period for his fourth goal of the season, assisted by Dany Heatley. I've ripped Dany Heatley all year (not that he should give a damn), but credit where credit is due: He definitely showed up to troll his former fans, scoring his first meaningful goal of the season three minutes later to completely erase the dominance Ottawa had in the first period, and give the Wild a 3-2 lead.

Milan Michalek scored to force yet another tie, thanks to the penalty kill. Fortunately, the third period also saw Mikko Koivu continue to heat up, beating Craig Anderson for his fifth goal of the season, and his second game-winning goal in three games. The Wild held on, and there you have it.

There are, as always, encouraging and discouraging elements to this game. There's no way that the Wild will do well to keep this play up, but it's very fortunate that they managed to get two points out of this affair, considering the start. So, there you have tonight's game. Have it out in the comments, Wilderness.

Five Questions

1. The Wild were not sharp last night in Montreal. Do they show up with more intensity tonight?- The Sens scored a shorty, and threw 18 shots on Harding in the first period alone. If the Wild brought their intensity to start, then the Senators had a lot more. Fortunately, they ended up calming down and salvaging two points.

2. Josh Harding will be starting in net tonight, in all likelihood. Will he be able to shake off last night easily?- Once he stopped getting a puck slapped at him every minute, he did fine.

3. Since Jonas Brodin got his face broken he's seemed a bit off. And I'm not just talking about being on the ice for four goals last night. After a night of adjusting to the half-shield, can he find his previously dominant game again?- I'm not a defensive expert, but scoring a goal and assist, after an assist last night, suggests that his offensive game is picking up where he left out.

4. Jason Pominville hasn't scored for, like, two games. Will he put the puck in the net tonight, or is it time to panic?- He was the only good thing about the first period. Fret not, Wild fans.

5. Though the Sens have been struggling, they have some top-notch firepower in offensive-defensemen wünderkind Erik Karlsson, as well as Bobby Ryan, and Jason Spezza. Can the Wild keep them off the scoresheet tonight?- They were pretty quiet. It was the lower lines that killed the Wild.