Wild extend record streak to 11
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Not even three days of drinking eggnog and munching on gingerbread cookies by the Christmas tree can slow down the Minnesota Wild.Despite not playing or practicing for three days and having to fly to Nashville the morning of T...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Not even three days of drinking eggnog and munching on gingerbread cookies by the Christmas tree can slow down the Minnesota Wild.
Despite not playing or practicing for three days and having to fly to Nashville the morning of Tuesday’s game, the Wild’s bubble didn’t burst during the NHL’s holiday recess.
Jared Spurgeon scored the game-winning goal 2 minutes, 14 seconds into overtime for a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators to extend the Wild’s franchise-record winning and point streaks to 11 games and 12 games, respectively.
The Wild, who haven’t lost in regulation since Nov. 29, improved to 11-0-1 in their past 12 games and 13-1-3 since Nov. 19.
It’s the third time a Boudreau-coached NHL team extended a winning streak to at least 11 games. The Wild, who have won six in a row on the road, were 1-7-1 in their first game after Christmas since 2006, including five consecutive losses.
Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets, who visit the Wild on New Year’s Eve, extended their winning streak to 13 games by beating the Boston Bruins.
Zach Parise, who missed the previous two games with his third spell of strep throat in a month, and Chris Stewart also scored for the Wild.
Devan Dubnyk extended his win streak to a career-high nine games and point streak to a career-high 13 games (11-0-2) by making 29 saves. He hasn’t allowed more than two goals in a game since Nov. 26 (10 starts).
Predators goalie Pekka Rinne was terrific. He made six saves on a late third-period power play and finished with 36 as the Wild were the better team in the first and third periods.
But in overtime, Schroeder, who also assisted on Stewart’s goal and elevated to the first line in the third period, caught up to a loose puck, sprinted into the zone and set up Spurgeon’s first career overtime goal.
The Predators took three penalties in the first period. It could have been 10 with the amount they obstructed or checked Wild players when the puck wasn’t in the vicinity.
Nevertheless, after the Wild killed Nino Niederreiter’s penalty just 16 seconds into the game, the Wild scored a power-play goal for the fifth time in six games.
After defenseman Ryan Suter made a terrific play to save a puck at the blue line and get it deep, Matt Dumba retrieved the puck returned from Charlie Coyle and whipped it on net. Parise got his stick on the vulcanized rubber for his sixth goal of the season and first on the road since scoring twice at the Islanders on Oct. 23.
After scoring three goals in the first 30 games, young stud Filip Forsberg scored his third goal in four games to tie the score at 1 early in the second period.
But 1:22 later, after Dubnyk made three outstanding saves to keep the score tied with the Wild on their heels, Stewart scored his fourth goal of the month. Stewart made a strong play to help exit the defensive zone. After Jordan Schroeder flew into the Predators’ end with speed, he fed Eric Staal in the far faceoff circle.
Staal one-touched a perfect feed to Stewart, who one-timed a bullet into a wide-open net.
Staal, who was briefly tied by Coyle as the Wild’s leading scorer, regained the team lead with the assist. He extended his point streak to eight games, his longest since an 11-game streak in 2013.
Schroeder had such a strong game, he was elevated to the Parise-Staal line in the third period and Jason Pominville was dropped to the fourth.
The Predators tied the score again though in the second after Suter got his hand on an outlet that slowed the puck down in the neutral zone. That allowed Reid Boucher to catch up for a partial breakaway with Spurgeon on his tail.
Boucher’s shot just squeezed through Dubnyk’s wickets for his first goal with Nashville.
The Wild hoped they would regain a one-goal lead late in the period on Parise’s second of the night. But eagle-eyed referee Gord Dwyer immediately wiped out the goal because Parise had banged in Marco Scandella’s rebound with his stick above the height of the crossbar.