Last night's game sure was a fun one. Darcy Kuemper played unreal and we got some great goals from Nino Niederreiter, Marco Scandella and Jason Zucker. That being said, the game was also ugly for large chunks and the Wild stole the victory.
The Flyers at one point were ahead in shots on goal 21-6 early in the second period. Philadelphia's top line dominated all night, taking advantage of the Wild's fourth line and bottom pairings. It's clear the Flyers were playing with fire after losing the night before to the Rangers.
To the Wild's credit, it picked its game up after the first period. The shot attempt chart from War-On-Ice gives a good visual summary:
As you can see, it's a pretty even game after about two minutes into the second period.
This is perhaps the most red I've seen in this chart all year. Only four players had a positive Corsi value, with only ten players above 40 percent. Mikael Granlund had a stellar game, especially in the third period when he had to step up for Mikko Koivu. Niederreiter had two points and put up good possession numbers despite getting more defensive zone starts than his teammates.
Zach Parise and Jason Pominville had an average night and played better in the third when they were paired with Granlund. The Charlie Coyle center experiment wasn't as terrible as some predicted. Coyle had a great game and helped set up the game winning goal with a solid forecheck with Zucker and Vanek. We'll need to see more of this line to see if it actually can work.
Jared Spurgeon and Ryan Suter were solid on the blue line as always. For the rest of the team, the night was pretty forgettable. The fourth line faced the toughest minutes and rotated wingers with Stu Bickel only playing 2:04. Nate Prosser and Keith Ballard struggled to move the puck out of the defensive zone.
Last night's game was the third in a row where the Wild lost the possession battle. On the one hand, they won all three. On the other, they'll have to work harder if they want to keep this winning streak going.
Wild Three Stars of the Game
1. Darcy Kuemper- The goaltender made some incredible saves and stopped 37 shots to steal the game.
2. Nino Niederreiter- A goal and an assist to continue his hot streak. Now if only Yeo would give him more ice time...
3. Mikael Granlund- He really stepped up in the third when Koivu went down and was 15 of 22 in the faceoff dot.