The Minnesota Wild tied a franchise record on Thursday night by scoring eight goals in a single game.
In their Saturday matinee against the Winnipeg Jets, they didn’t score at all.
Jets captain Blake Wheeler scored on a shorthanded rush to break the ice late in the first period, and Winnipeg never looked back. Then, just minutes later, Jets defenseman Luca Sbisa scored another goal with five seconds left in the first period to double his team’s lead.
GOAL. Luca Sbisa doubles the Winnipeg lead with 5.1 seconds left in the period. pic.twitter.com/qBZPzR99wi— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) December 21, 2019
The second period wasn’t much better for the Wild. Though they did manage to outshoot Winnipeg in the middle stanza, they couldn’t keep star winger Patrik Laine from scoring his 12th goal of the season.
Probably not a goal Alex Stalock is all that happy about.
Stalock just wasn't ready for this one. pic.twitter.com/LxMZ3ElXP7— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) December 21, 2019
It didn’t take long for Winnipeg to increase its lead in the third period. A very nice 69 seconds into the final frame, Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers scored his 15th of the season to increase the Winnipeg lead to four goals.
A little later on, it was Laine’s turn to score again — a laser from the faceoff circle on the power play for No. 13 on the season. And, for good measure, Logan Shaw capped off the scoring by getting his second tally of the season not long after Laine’s power-play blast.
GOAL. Logan Shaw gets another for Winnipeg.— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) December 21, 2019
Not a whole lot to see here, folks. Just an outright beatdown on home ice. Minnesota got some decent looks throughout the game, including this Zach Parise chance that nearly tied the game in the first period, but Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was perfect on the day, stopping all 31 shots fired in his direction.
There are no excuses for a loss like this, but the laundry list of injuries the Wild are dealing with certainly didn’t do them much good. Mikko Koivu remains out of the lineup with a lower-body injury, Jason Zucker is out for at least a month with a fractured fibula and Joel Eriksson Ek is still out with an injury of his own. Luckily, it does sound like Eriksson Ek could be nearing a return.
Eriksson Ek is expected to practice tomorrow. Felt great skating today, says Boudreau, so maybe Monday’s game is a possibility.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) December 21, 2019
Koivu will need practice time before he would be able to play. Wild only have tomorrow’s before holiday break, so his return won’t come for a bit
The Wild will be back in action on Monday against the red-hot Calgary Flames.
Answers to our Burning Questions
1. Can the Wild outshoot an opponent?
Not that it mattered all that much, but the Wild and Jets were even in the shots department. Both teams got 31 shots on goal. Of course, the Wild were unable to take advantage of their opportunities, while Winnipeg seemed to score at will.
2. Will the Wild light the lamp on the man advantage?
Ha! Of course not! In fact, the Wild were actually outscored while on the man advantage. They went 0-for-3 on the power play and allowed a shorthanded tally in the first period. Against the worst penalty kill in the league, that was an unacceptable showing from Minnesota’s power play.
3. Can Staal keep it going?
Nope. Eric Staal five-game point streak came to an end in the 6-0 defeat. But, to his defense, no one on Minnesota’s roster managed to get anything going.