Winners of six straight games, the Wild went in to Winnipeg to face the Jets in an attempt to extend the season's longest winning streak to seven games. Tuesday's game was the second of a back-to-back after beating the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 the previous night. Minnesota found out that they'd be without Jason Zucker for three months after he suffered and had surgery on a broken clavicle, and Ryan Carter with a shoulder injury for one month.
Wild head coach Mike Yeo decided to start Devan Dubnyk agaisnt the Jets after he stopped and faced 22 of 25 shots against Vancouver even though Darcy Kuemper had returned from his rehab stint in Iowa.
Dubnyk had to be tough in the first period as the Jets took advantage of the tired legs of the Wild. Winnipeg fired 15 shots at dubnyk and he made some fantastic saves to keep his team in the game. equally as good throughout the game on the other end was Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson.
The Wild really only saw any decent offensive zone while on the power play. Otherwise the Jets all-but dominated possession at even strength.
It wasn't until a Toby Enstrom shot from the left point that the scoreless tie would be broken. Enstrom's shot was deflected by Nino Niederreiter past Dubnyk. Niederreiter really wanted that one back.
Minnesota came right back with their first real established forecheck of the game. Zack Parise bulldozed Jim Slater to separate him from the puck. The puck landed on Jason Pominville's stick and he didn't waste a nanosecond to get the shot past Hutchinson.
The Jets would finish the regulation portion of the game with a 32-28 lead in shots, but tied at one heading into sudden death overtime. After cycling the puck around the offensive zone, Jared Spurgeon tried a pass back to the point and it was broken up by Dustin Byfuglien. Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler entered the zone on a 2-on-1 with Ryan Suter back, but Byfuglien found the upper left corner of the net with a shot to end the game.
The Wild secured one point in the standings to stay ahead of the Dallas Stars, who won their game against the Boston Bruins. Minnesota now has 59 points in the standings and are within two points of the Canucks for the second wild card spot. With all things considered, Minnesota was lucky to get even that. This game could have been way more ugly had Dubnyk not been great for them.
Minnesota will now try to start a new winning streak as they host the Nick Bjugstad and the Florida Panthers on Thursday. The Panthers are 52-24-17-11 for 58 points just four points behind Boston for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. With two teams battling for their playoff lives, Thursday should be a good tilt at Xcel Energy Center.