Jason Zucker worked wonders on the newly formed line of Mikko Koivu centering Zucker and Charlie Coyle. That line was easily the best line of the game.
Minnesota was down 1-0 after the first period after Mirco Mueller got the benefit of a deflection off of Zach Parise's stick. The first period saw the Minnesota defense scramble in their own zone unlike they have all season, minus Monday's game against the Rangers. Matt Dumba was one of those defensemen that struggled mightily as he telegraphed passes and had bad giveaways at each blueline. Mikael Granlund was a bit of a giveaway machine as well tonight, as the first line struggled.
The Wild hit the reset button for the second period. They came out of the locker room and dominated possession while trying to find the back of the net behind Sharks netminder Antti Niemi. Tommy Wingels extended the Sharks lead on the power play. After a long, dominating shift from the Koivu line Jason Zucker was able to find a streaking Koivu for an tip in for the Wild's first goal.
The Wild were a 72.38 Fenwick For percent after two periods.
The Wild continued with the puck dominance in the third period. Except for one slip up by Nate Prosser that sprung Joe Thornton on a breakaway for a goal that re-established a two-goal lead for the Sharks, the Wild were peppering Niemi left and right. Then Kyle Brodziak led a rush up the ice with Thomas Vanek and Justin Fontaine. After a couple quick touch passes, Vanek sent a shot/pass on net where Brodziak was able to tip home the puck past Niemi. Five minutes later, the same duo of Brodziak and Vanek would tie the game after Vanek sent a nice backhand pass across the slot to Brodziak for a slam dunk.
Brodziak, whose first action in six games came Tuesday in Boston, won 66 percent of his faceoffs, second only to Koivu who was 80 percent in the dots. Mikko Koivu was the team leader with nine shots on goal tonight.
Regulation time wasn't enough for this game and it went to a shootout after Wild fans got their first look at the new overtime rules. There were plenty of great chances for both teams since the teams had to switch sides just like they would in the second period.
In overtime, Mikko Koivu would add a shootout goal with his bread and butter forehand to backhand top shelf move. Jason Pominville then picked the corner for the shootout winner as Darcy Kuemper stopped two of three shots for the victory.
The Wild have yet to lose at the Xcel Energy Center this season. They will now welcome the Dallas Stars to St. Paul on Saturday night for a 7pm puck drop.