They weren't "booing" at the corner of West 7th and Kellogg, they were "Doobing" from start to finish as Devan Dubnyk stopped all 31 shots he faced en route to the victory.
How can the Wild overcome Zach Parise's injury?
Parise is out at least the next few games with a knee injury. Can the Wild step up and win without him?
Lucia vs. Lucia: Gophers take on Fighting Irish
The University of Minnesota Gophers head to Notre Dame this weekend in a matchup fraught with history and family as Don Lucia heads home to his alma mater. When the puck drops, Lucia hopes to give one last lesson to his son, Mario as the Series of the Week becomes a family matter for the first (and maybe last) time.
Saturday night was the first game without Zach Parise, who was announced that he'd miss some games due to an MCL sprain after a hit from Predators forward and all-around ass-hat James Neal. The Wild needed to shore up the defensive side of things and it needed players to step up on the offensive side in the absence of number 11.
Minnesota returned to their layered defensive posture and made it tough for the Lightning to get clean looks at the net. They also did well to box out so that the Lightning were unable to pounce on rebounds. Those shots that did get through Dubnyk was absolutely stellar. The one puck that did beat him was from J.T. Brown when his shot hit the crossbar.
Dubnyk looked athletic in the crease and tracked the puck well. There was a lot of energy right from the beginning and was attacking the puck and playing aggressively. But he was also swallowing the puck and controlling his rebounds well.
Both teams skated to a scoreless tie in the first period. Jason Pominville took a tripping minor at 4:57 to give the Lightning its first power play. The Wild were good at boxing out Tampa and cleared the zone well. Steven Stamkos did get a hard one-timer off right off a faceoff that hit Dubnyk square in the chest. Minnesota got a power play when Charlie Coyle, who was elevated to the right wing on a line with Mikael Granlund and Pominville, crashed down to the net for a rebound try and was hooked down by Brian Boyle. Coyle still got good wood on a back-hand try, but Ben Bishop was able to make the save. The Lightning PK was solid and kept the Wild from really getting much in the direction of Bishop.
The Wild power play is becoming awfully predictable. As active as Ryan Suter was in shooting the puck early, he has almost completely stopped that. It almost exclusively rotates the puck around to the right circle for a one-timer from (now) Marco Scandella, or Parise (who is normally in that position). It'd be good for the Wild to try a wrinkle once in awhile to keep teams from cheating over and taking that option away.
In the second period, Minnesota was able to get early pressure to start he period. Jason Pominville's initial shot popped out front for Coyle, who was unable to get by the right pad of Bishop, chased the rebound to the corner. He then found Spurgeon at the point. Spurgeon took the puck down the right side and let a wrister go from the top of right circle and it snuck by everyone, including the Lightning goaltender just 26 seconds into the period.
Minnesota would then own the shot count for the rest of the period, looking stout on the defensive end, and pushing the play north into the Tampa Bay end. Ben Bishop was no slouch in the game either. He kept his team in the game by making solid save after solid save.
The third period saw more Dubnyk brilliance with a stylistic glove save, a breakaway save with no rebound, and some big saves in a flurry of chances for the Lightning. The "Doooob" chant in the building grew louder and louder as the fans felt more and more that this was Dubnyk's night and that he would not be beaten.
Overall, the line with Pominville - Granlund - Coyle played a solid game with number 3's addition and strength on the puck. Granlund still has trouble protecting the puck by not making errant passes that result in turnovers. Pominville is so close to scoring. He had an opportunity in front of the net that required one move with the puck and he would have had a wide open net, but Pominville just couldn't drag the puck around Bishop's toe. The Jason Zucker - Mikko Koivu - Nino Niederreiter line was held off the score sheet, but they had another solid game in all zones, aside from Koivu seemingly at odds with the linesmen on faceoffs.
Ondrej Palat suffered a lower body injury after a scrum in front of the net resulted in Niederreiter falling on Palat's leg, buckling the knee area. it was an inadvertent play and a freak accident, but you never like to see injuries like that, and Wild fans be familiar with how that feels. Palat did not return to the game after being helped to the locker room.
Minnesota will now take on the division rival Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. Minnesota lost the Jets two weeks ago 5-4 after giving up four unanswered goals before storming back and falling just short of tying the game late when they had a power play to finish regulation.