Some notes before tonight's match-up. Chris Kreider will not receive any supplemental discipline after his hit from behind put Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin into the boards. Brodin, who came back to play in last night's game against the Rangers was ruled out for tonight's game as reports are that he is dealing with a hand injury.
Rangers forward John Moore has been invited to an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety, contrary to early reports this afternoon that said he would have a phone-only hearing. He was ejected from last night's game after he was assessed a Match Penalty for elbowing Erik Haula. Haula did not return to the game last night. According to Mike Yeo prior to the game against the Bruins, Haula has not been diagnosed with a concussion but they are taking some precautions as symptoms can manifest days later.
Now for the game:
Because of the injuries, Mike Yeo has had to make some changes to the line-up.
Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville
Jason Zucker - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle
Thomas Vanek - Kyle Brodziak - Nino Niederreiter
Matt Cooke- Ryan Carter - Justin Fontaine
Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon
Matt Dumba - Marco Scandella
Nate Prosser - Justin Falk
The Wild came into tonight in the second of a back-to-back looking to assert their new style of play on national TV. With changes to the lines and the power play units, the Wild were looking for a more balanced approach and looking for ways to kick-start Koivu and Vanek.
Things started well for the Wild as Nino Niederreiter was on the receiving end of a Thomas Vanek pass after a solid forecheck by Brodziak for the game's first goal. That line was easily the best line of the first period with Minnesota.
Boston would tie the game after Milan Lucic destroyed Justin Falk on the boards and the puck ended up on Garret Smith's stick before it ended up in the back of the net. Minnesota would hold the lead in shots after one.
The second period, the Wild would look even more listless as the Bruins were able to find the net twice more. Garret Smith would get his second of the game, and the impenetrable penalty kill would break again as Lucic put home an easy one. The Wild last surrendered a power play goal way back against Los Angeles. Who was the goaltender for that game? Niklas Backstrom.
After 40 minutes, the Wild were reeling and resembling the passive team that we've seen the last few years. They were dumping and chasing, over-passing, and having very little luck getting much through to Tukka Rask.
That was until the third period. The Wild flipped the script on the Bruins, learning from what happened to them the night before. They came out with a vengeance and put 15 more shots on Tukka Rask. The first goal in the comeback was off the stick of Zach Parise. Literally off his stick. The hard work was done by Mikael Granlund with a nifty spin-around pass that went off Parise's stick that just happened to be in the crease. Minnesota's third goal came from Justin Fontaine after a scrum in front of the net jarred the puck loose and number 14 was able to pound it home.
Looking to win the game, the Wild kept pouring it on and at the 14:07 mark, Marco Scandella, whose been having a fine beginning of his season, let go a slapper from the left point the deflected off a Bruin shin pad and into the net.
Minnesota had to hold on for dear life as the Bruins pulled the goalie in the final minute in favor of the extra attacker. The Wild blocked shots and Backstrom made a couple key saves to secure the win in come-from-behind fashion.
The Wild have dominated the shots in each of the last three games. Tonight, the Wild threw 42 pucks at Rask. Jason Pominville led in that department with eight shots, while Niederreiter and Fontaine, both of whom scored goals, had four shots each.
Kyle Brodziak was nice to have back on the ice. His 62 percent on faceoffs was missed. Ryan Carter got an assist on Fontaine's goal was an abysmal 25 percent in the dots.
Minnesota as a team only allowed the Bruins 28 shots on goal. They really took over after Boston's second goal at the 17 minute mark of the second. The Wild for the game at 5v5 were a 60.76 Fenwick For percent against one of the best Eastern Conference teams.
The longest on-going saga that is the Wild scoreless power play is still scoreless. The players and Yeo have started to hint that the team's power play woes are starting to weigh heavily on the team.
Good teams are able to have a short memory. They are able to find ways to win the tough games. When they are down on the 2nd of a back-to-back, they don't make excuses, they just do. If they want to be taken seriously, they needed this comeback to show that they are a different team. This was a good win.