Minnesota makes it seven wins in its last eight games. The Wild have been quite a tear the Wild have been on since Devan Dubnyk has arrived. They've secured points in nine of the last ten games and trail the Calgary Flames by two points in the standings for the second wild card spot. [The Flames just started their game as the Wild game ended].
The Wild started the game with a bit of a scare as Charlie Coyle went off the ice after a collision with Alex Petrovic. He did eventually come back to the game to finish, but this is the not the time for players to drop like flies. Roberto Luongo has struggled throughout his career playing inside the Xcel Energy Center.The Wild would best him just twice Thursday night with goals from Jason Pominville and Zach Parise.
Minnesota got the scoring going in the first period when Mikko Koivu sent a centering pass to Pominville that Pominville redirected into the net with his skate. The play was reviewed and called a "good goal" as the off-ice officials did not see a distinct kicking motion. It was his third goal in as many games.
Really, honestly, the game really didn't see a ton of action because both teams are on the outside looking in fighting for their playoff lives. Being that both are in separate conferences, the teams seemed resigned to play a solid defensive structure and not try to make many mistakes. Both goalies played well as Dubnyk was just solid in net again.
Parise would net the game-winning goal on the power play after a Thomas Vanek shot squirted through Luongo's equipment and fall in the crease.
Florida would get one back as the Panthers' leading goal scorer and former Golden Gopher and Blaine Bengal Nick Bjugstad found the only opening under the crossbar and threaded the needle. It was a magnificent shot and from such a shallow angle, there was really nothing to shoot at except for where he did.
The third period saw more of the same even as the Panthers were looking for the equalizer. Minnesota killed off all five penalties, continuing their solid penalty killing on the current run. The penalty kill even killed off a four-minute double-minor highsticking penalty on Ryan Suter. Minnesota won the special teams and that's what ultimately won the game for the Wild.