When the hell did the Minnesota Wild and the New Jersey shed the "trap" moniker? Both teams combined for 70 shots on goal and it was the Wild cashing in of six of them for a thorough beating of the Devils. What looked liked a goalie duel early, gave way to fast, open hockey and lost of shots and goals. The Wild chased Cory Schneider in the third period and Devan Dubnyk stopped 30 shots for the win.
Sean Bergenheim, whom had a lengthy talking to from head coach Mike Yeo during the pregame skate, started on the fourth line and was on the puck all game long. He broke the scoreless tie late in the first period on a shot from the slot. It was his first goal in a Wild sweater and was a nice response from a guy that was staring down the possibility of being a healthy scratch in the future.
Just 13 second into the second period, Chris Stewart scored. It was his second goal in a Wild sweater. His line with Nino Niederreiter and Mikko Koivu were beast-like all game long. They were physical, strong on the puck, and controlled the puck every shift from the drop of the puck. It was a good to get the early goal in the second because the first period had a lot of odd-man rushes given up by the Wild, Dubnyk had to keep his team in the game. Cory Schneider was looking very strong early as well, so the Stewart goal was an opening of flood gates, per se.
Jared Spurgeonscored his eighth goal of the season, and first since coming back from injury a game ago. It came just after the Wild power play had expired. Mikael Granlund corralled the puck behind the Devils' net and centered a pass to Spurgeon who was pinching in from the point and tucked it underneath the right pad of Schneider.
Dainius Zubrus got one back for the Devils as he found himself in the slot where he took a Steve Bernier pass and deposited it into the net.
Three minutes later, Charlie Coyle sent a puck from behind the net into the slot where it found Thomas Vanek for his 15th goal of the season. The Wild had been applying constant pressure on the Devils and New Jersey just couldn't contain them. Minnesota went into the locker room up 4-1.
Jason Pominville got his name on the score sheet by finishing one of the prettiest passing plays of the year. Parise got the puck along the left wing and left it for Granlund to break into the zone. Granlund dropped it to Parise who then found Spurgeon with a cross-ice pass. Spurgeon found Pominville rushing up the center lane for a one-timer that chased Schneider from the crease.
The Wild would get a power play tally later in the third period from Vanek. Suter took a soft, fluttering shot from the point that Parsie gloved down and shot into the crease area. Keith Kinkaid made a save on the goal line with his stick, but Vanek was able to push the puck across for his second of the game.
Scott Gomez scores 32 seconds later to make the score 6-2 and that would be the final.
Minnesota did not take any penalties in the game which is a great sign for a team that continues to be among one of the least penalized team in the league. The power play broke through on Vanek's second goal and finished the game 1-for-4. Matt Dumba continues to play well as he finished with two shots, but should have been three as one of his shots damaged the left goalpost. He is starting to play faster, and play the kind of game that fans have expected since being drafted. Sean Bergenheim led the team with five shots, one ahead of Parise in just a solid game for him and probably his best since the Wild acquired him from Florida.
The Wild had three clear breakaways in the game from Justin Fontaine, Erik Haula, and Niederreiter and they couldn't convert. Fontaine shot over the net, Haula's shot went off Schneider's glove and over the net, and Nino, while getting hooked on the pay and drawing the penalty that led to the Vanek power play goal, caught left pad.