ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Wild blow lead, fall to Rangers

NEW YORK -- Monday's NHL game between the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers was perfectly suited for the Broadway stage that is Madison Square Garden.

NEW YORK - Monday’s NHL game between the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers was perfectly suited for the Broadway stage that is Madison Square Garden.
It had drama, villains and subplots galore.
There were ejected players, dirty plays, injuries, ghastly Wild power plays  and total and utter collapse by the Wild.
The Rangers, after not remotely being able to keep up with the Wild at even-strength in the first two periods Monday night, stormed back from a 3-0 deficit when Darcy Kuemper gave up five goals - one more than he had given up in his five previous starts - to beat the Wild 5-4.
Nate Prosser, Matt Cooke and Jason Pominville built the Wild a 3-0 second-period lead, and Jason Zucker’s third-
period goal almost looked gigantic after Kevin Klein and Rick Nash scored 1:48 apart early in the third.
But that 4-2 lead was short-lived. Derick Brassard made it 4-3, then Anthony Duclair’s first NHL goal tied the game and Mats Zuccarello won the game with tallies 37 seconds apart to give New York a 5-4 lead with 3:11 left.
The game really turned with a 4-2 Wild lead. Kuemper, who was flirting all night with puck-handling gaffes, gave a puck away this time to Zuccarello. He fed Carl Hagelin between the circles. Hagelin hit the post, but Brassard popped in the rebound to make it 4-3.
Kuemper looked rattled from there. Duclair’s goal was just terrible. He received a stretch pass and then wristed a shot from the right circle that handcuffed Kuemper, squeezed through his arms and dribbled in.
The Wild’s power play was again for the birds, going 0 for 4 to extend its season-long futility to 0 for 24 and striking out monumentally on a pair of second-period majors.
In between second-period major power plays on Chris Kreider (boarded defenseman Jonas Brodin) and John Moore (intent-to-injury match penalty for elbowing and injuring center Erik Haula), the Wild struck three times in the second period. By the end of the second period, the Wild were outshooting the Rangers 24-8.
Wild athletic therapist Don Fuller got a workout. Three times the medical trainer had to rush out to the ice to assist Wild players.
Arguably the scariest came in the second period when on the first major power play, the Wild’s Zach Parise tried to fish out a puck from the end boards. He fell to his knees, and when Wild center Mikko Koivu lifted the stick of Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, the blade struck Parise in the face.
Parise fell in a slump and blood poured on the ice. He returned late in the second period with several stitches jutting from his right nostril toward the right side of his upper lip.
During that time Parise was out, Zucker took Parise’s spot on the top power play and first line. He was certainly rewarded for his solid play when he redirected Nino Niederreiter’s shot for his fifth goal in the third.
Brodin also returned late in the second after flying face-first into the yellow dasher between the ice and the end boards. In the waning seconds of the first period, Brodin stopped short in front of Kreider at the goal line, but the big Rangers forward dangerously shoved Brodin on the top of the numbers and downward five feet from the end boards.
The Wild had 18 minutes to design a power play that could break open a scoreless game. But in the first two minutes of the second, the Wild’s top unit didn’t even register a shot.
The power play was killed by the Rangers, but winger Justin Fontaine set up two goals in less than a minute. First, pinching Prosser didn’t get all of Fontaine’s pass, but it was enough to somehow get through Lundqvist. On the ensuing shift, Ryan Carter brushed off a big check by Klein, who abandoned his position. Fontaine fed Cooke all alone in front for a quick-strike 2-0 lead.
Later, in a play that should get Moore suspended, he did a fly-by on Haula, slowed down and extended his elbow right into the center’s face. Haula fell to the ice hurt and never returned.
The Wild again did nothing with that major, but soon after, Mikael Granlund set up Pominville, who scored his third goal on one of his five shots.

What To Read Next
Peterson’s unassisted goal lifts Springfield to the NAHL home win.
Ice cross racers are competing in three divisions during multiple days of competition at Mont du Lac Resort in Superior as part of the U.S. Ice Cross Association's annual ATSX 250 event.
Thoreson’s third-period goal is the difference as Posch is tough in net for Minnesota.
Three-day Ski de She camp and clinic in Cable will include Olympic champion Kikkan Randall.