The Wild less-than-veteran squad went out to Ohio to take on the Blue Jackets in its third game of the preseason. The Blue Jackets must have been told to raise the physical bar, because David Clarkson was tossed from the game after being assessed a match penalty for kneeing on Justin Fontaine just 1:03 into the game. Fontaine's teammates waited almost the entire duration of the ensuing five minute major power play before Christian Folin's slapper put the Wild up 1-0. The Wild wouldn't look back.
Rene Bourque then was assessed a minor for boarding Gustav Olofsson and a major for engaging into fisticuffs with the Wild's Zac Dalpe. Nino Niederreiter would score on the power play (AGAIN?????? IS THIS REAL???) to give the Wild a 2-0 lead. Minnesota led in shots 12-2 at the 10 minute mark of the period.
Mr. ATV himself, James Sheppard (remember him?), drew the Blue Jackets to within one goal as the Blue Jackets took 8 of the last nine shots on goal of the period. Devan Dubnyk, whom started his first preseason game, didn't see much of anything in terms of a 2 1/2" vulcanized rubber head his way for most of the period.
The second period was a tad more even in shots and featured more action in each end. Shots were 9-5 in favor of the Wild. The Wild power play would strike again, this time off the stick of Jonas Brodin. Brodin finished the night with a goal and assist, two shots, and 3 seconds shy of 24 minutes of ice time.
Erik Haula, whom was said to be having a very good camp, scored at the 8:47 mark of the third period to extend the Wild lead. Haula had some time on the power play and even some time on the penalty kill while finishing with 3 shots on goal.
Brandon Dubinsky of the Blue Jackets scored on the power play after Haula's Delay of Game penalty.
Finally, Jason Zucker cinched the win with an empty net goal for the 5-2 victory. Zucker had a goal, two assists, and four shots on goal.
Charlie Coyle had a three point night, notching three assists on the Wild's first three goals. Coyle was 12 of 16 in the faceoff dots, and is slowly becoming a better part of his game. He had another solid game on faceoffs up in Winnipeg on Tuesday evening.
Justin Fontaine did eventually return to the game, but did not return to the bench for the third for precautionary reasons. After the game, it was revealed that he just has a bruised leg and some soreness.
All-in-all a solid game, especially for the power play finishing 3-for-5 on the night. You'd hope that Yeo took some notes to see that the kids can handle some of the power play load. Coyle had a great night all over the ice. Having a number of the kids that you'd expect to stand out score, is a really good thing.