MCT St. Paul, Minnesota
Charlie Coyle scored two goals for the fifth time in his career and Jonas Brodin had a goal and a career-high three points as the Wild put in a strong performance.
Finally, the floodgates opened. Disregarding the empty-net goal the Wild scored Wednesday against Winnipeg, the Wild hadn’t scored more than two goals in a game with an actual goaltender in net since the last time the team faced the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 10.
During a post-Thanksgiving matinee rematch against the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Wild, a team with 12 goals in the previous seven games, trounced the Penguins, 6-2.
Charlie Coyle scored two goals for the fifth time in his career and Jonas Brodin had a goal and a career-high three points as the Wild scored the most goals since potting six against the Los Angeles Kings the third game of the season, Oct. 18.
Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter also scored for the Wild and Devan Dubnyk was terrific with 34 saves as the Wild won consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 27 and 29.
It was a big win because the team begins a five-game road trip Saturday in St. Louis.
The Wild, who swept the season series with the Penguins, 2-0, thanks to 10 goals and 80 shots, scored three power-play goals, the first time it had more than one in a game this season. In fact, it has six in the past four games.
The news wasn’t all good for the Wild. They lost one of their best defensemen this season in the first period when defenseman Christian Folin left with a lower-body injury. He tried to dodge a check from Sidney Crosby behind the net, and his left leg took the brunt of the impact.
The Wild jumped out to a 1-0 lead 40 seconds in and on their second shift. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin coughed the puck up to Coyle along the wall. Coyle fed Parise in the slot, then crashed the net. It’s a good thing because Marc-Andre Fleury couldn’t smother Parise’s shot and Coyle buried the fallen rebound.
That lead became 2-0 with six seconds left in a power play. After a great forecheck by Niederreiter, Mikko Koivu and Granlund, Koivu fed Brodin up top, and the defenseman fired a laser.
With Koivu and Niederreiter at the net, the puck flew by for Brodin’s third goal of the season and second in two games.
For Brodin, it was the first goal streak of his career. He has at least a point in four of his past five games and 10 in 20 games this season. He had seven points in 68 games last season.
Phil Kessel became the fourth active US-born 600-point scorer by burying Evgeni Malkin’s pass later in the first, but the Wild regained their two-goal cushion with 22 seconds left when Coyle picked off a soft clear from Kris Letang and shot it between Fleury’s wickets.
The Wild turned that 3-1 edge to 5-1 with two goals late in the second to reward Dubnyk for a brilliant period in goal.
On a power play, Parise scored his second goal in two games after entering the zone and sending a hard rim to linemate Eric Staal. Staal won his battle and smartly centered for Parise alone in the slot. As he was pressured, he lost the puck, but he quickly found it and blasted a beauty while falling to the ice.
With 1:20 left, Granlund took a long breakout pass from Brodin, then used Jason Zucker as a decoy and buried his fifth goal after a silky smooth move in the slot.
Granlund has 13 points in the past 15 games.
Blackhawks 3 Ducks 2; Islanders 2 Sharks 3; Penguins 2 Wild 6; Sabres 1 Capitals 3;
Jets 1 Predators 5; Flames 2 Bruins 1; Blue Jackets 5 Lightning 3; Red Wings 5 (OT) Devils 4; Canucks 1 Stars 2; Oilers 2 (SO) Coyotes 3
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