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Coyle's Shootout Winner lifts Wild over Blackhawks 3-2

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Coyle knows how to score in the shootout. In the Wild's second straight game that needed the skills competition to decide it, Coyle has come up huge twice. Minnesota got goals from Erik Haula and Nino Niederreiter before Andrew Shaw and Richard Panik evened the game up in the second period. Devan Dubnyk made some key saves down the stretch and the Wild keeps pace with the Colorado Avalanche in the Wild Card standings. The Avs beat the Oilers 3-2 Sunday night to stay one point ahead of the Wild.

Nino Niederreiter has been the Wild's best player in March. Period. He had a part in both goals for Minnesota. While both teams skated to a scoreless tie after one period, Niederreiter, with Justin Fontaine, set up Erik Haula in the slot for the goal against Blackhawks' back up netminder Scott Darling. The Wild struck again when Niederreiter kicked a loose puck to his stick for the tap in and the 2-0 lead. Jordan Schroeder took the initial shot and Darling couldn't handle the rebound with Niederreiter in his face.

Outside of that, Darling played a sensational game. He made made some big saves on Minnesota's shooters in the third period to preserve the tie into the third period.

Devan Dubnyk, on the other hand, played a marvelous game. For the most part, he was square to the puck, and he even made a huge poke check on Richard Panik, who had a partial breakaway. Andrew Shaw toe dragged around Ryan Suter and snuck the puck through the right arm of Dubnyk and the puck just did trickle past the goal line. Panik then tied the game when he beat Dubnyk to the other post on a wraparound.

Matt Dumba hit the hell out of Patrick Kane near the Wild blue line. The shoulder of Dumba did make contact with Kane's head, but it was deemed unavoidable contact with the head, per Rule 48 as Kane's head was down. Kane lost the puck in his feet and he was looking down for the puck as Dumba blew him up.

Here's the hit:

The Wild out-shot the Blackhawks 16-7 in the third period. It just had trouble beating Darling and finding the back of the net.

In the overtime session, Minnesota got a 4-on-3 power play after Artem Anisimov took a run into Dubnyk. The Wild power play featured Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund, and Ryan Suter. Why? i'm not your mom; I don't know why. The only chance Minnesota had was when Parise had everything to shoot at, but ended up hitting the side of the cage.

The trios for the overtime were:

  • Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle - Ryan Suter
  • Mikael Granlund - Parise - Jared Spurgeon
  • Granlund - Koivu - Parise - Suter (PP)
  • Coyle - Nino Niederreiter - Mike Reilly - Matt Dumba (PP)
  • Coyle - Dumba - Reilly
  • Jason Zucker - Dumba - Reilly
  • Koivu - Parise - Suter
Yes, the player that was the biggest scoring catalyst for the team saw very limited time in the third period and only a short shift on the 4v3 power play in OT. It's a travesty that Nino and Haula wasn't on the ice more in crunch time.

On to the shootout and Dubnyk was able to stand tall, while Coyle's leadoff goal stood too tall for the Blackhawks to catch.
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