By Ryan Donaldson
The Minnesota Wild won their first game
in Vancouver in four years on Monday night. After the road win over
the Canucks, Rookie Charlie Coyle acknowledged the team wants to
improve their record away from Xcel Energy Center. The road test
continued Wednesday night as the squad looked to end another
long-term road winless streak, dating back to January of 2006, at Joe
Louis Arena in Detroit against the Redwings.
Matt Cullen found a streaking Devin
Setoguchi who went the route of the 5-hole of goaltender Jimmy Howard
just 2 minutes into the game to give the Wild the early 1-0 edge
before most fans could settle into their familiar crimson seats of
Niklas Backstrom had yet another
stellar performance in net. The Finnish goaltender refused to let
anything by him after back to back Redwing power plays following the
Wild’s early goal. Despite being outshot 17-5, Backstrom and the
Wild were able to protect their 1-0 lead through one period.
A violent hit from Kronwall on Charlie
Coyle resulted in a double minor four minute power play for the Wild.
Suter notched his 22nd assist of the season as he fed
Spurgeon deep in the zone who dropped off a one timer for Brodziak as
he buried his 5th goal of the year over the glove of
After his nifty assist, Spurgeon
fumbled the puck on a pass to the point and allowed a Detroit break
away, and goal cutting Minnesota’s lead to 2-1.
Soon after giving up a two goal lead,
Brodin made a great play in the offensive zone to get the puck to
Parise as he fed a spinning Mikko Koivu who wristed the puck in for
the 3-1 cushion and Minnesota wasn’t done in the period. Devin
Setoguchi was scoreless in his first 10 games this season, but he
registered his second goal of the night on a Wild power play to go up
4-1. Setoguchi has now tied with Zach Parise for the team lead with
11 goals on the year.
The third and final frame was tamer
than the preceding two periods. Backstrom allowed a late meaningless
Detroit goal, but the Wild hung on to win 4-2 and improved to
(17-10-2) 1st place in the Northwest division and 3rd
place in the Western Conference.
The star of the game was Devin
Setoguchi who said after the win “When you are doing the right
things it’s nice to get rewarded. The main thing is that we keep
winning games and that’s a lot of fun. That’s what it’s all
about in the locker room.” The fun continues Saturday afternoon,
the Wild take on the San Jose Sharks at 1pm on the FAN!