Giving up early goals is never a recipe for success. Giving up an early goal on the road, to the Dallas Stars, well you could be in for a long night. That is exactly what happened to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. The game began with a good pace, with both teams trading solid chances. Around the five minute mark, Mike Reilly capped off a forgettable shift by turning the puck over along the boards in the Wild zone. The puck -as it always seems to- found defensive phenom John Klingberg streaking in from the point, and he sniped one past a screened Devan Dubnyk.
However, immediately following the goal, Dubnyk pointed to the spot in his crease where he felt Roussel was interfering with him. From a couple of angles it looked like Roussel's positioning was harmless, but the overhead view clearly showed that Roussel was much too deep in Dubnyk's crease, not allowing him to make any type of forward move to make a save on the shot.
The goal was overturned because of rule 69.1. (that's .1 more nice)
The Wild came out strong in the second period and received another welcome surprise when the fourth line of all people managed to put a greasy goal past Antti Niemi. Fourth line goals (especially for this team) are found money, and the Wild capitalized on another chance by Thomas Vanek shortly after to extend the lead to 2-0. From that point on, as he's known to do, Dubnyk put the saddle on and carried his team the rest of the way.
The disallowed goal was great on two accounts. It allowed the Wild to not have to chase the game and get in an offensive battle with the league's best offense. It was also good for Reilly, who looked incredibly nervous/shaky in his debut, to not be at fault for the Wild going down a goal. Confidence is key for a puck-moving defenseman, and we need Reilly to trust his instincts. Hopefully, getting through this game unscathed will allow him to relax a bit and play with some more confidence.