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Three-goal third period erases two bad periods, but Wild fall in overtime

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The Minnesota Wild didn’t deserve a point, but erased a pair of two-goal deficits in the third period to force overtime. However, an open backdoor rebound goal by Andy Greene gave the New Jersey a 4-3 victory Thursday at the Prudential Center.

The Devils (29-27-13) took advantage of Wild defensive miscues on all four of their goals. The Wild were caught flat-footed, staring at the puck and did not take away passing lanes.

Greene was left wide open on the backdoor with three minutes remaining in overtime. Patrik Elias sent a pass to the front of the net, where Adam Henrique re-directed it on net. Both Elias and Henrique recorded three assists in the game.

Michael Ryder got the scoring started when no picked him up coming off the bench and let him skate right down the middle of the ice.

Mark Fayne was left alone at the point by the Wild’s five-member power play unit. He had a clean path and shot at the net. None of the Wild players forced Henrique in their own end.

Jaromir Jagr gave the Devils a 3-1 lead with a power play tally. He found a soft spot in the middle of the Wild’s defensive box. The Wild’s penalty killers did not collapse on him nor took away his shot.

The Wild rallied in the third for three goals.

Zach Parise got the Wild on the board and cut a two-goal deficit to one just 21 seconds into the final period by re-directing a shot by Ryan Suter into the net behind Cory Schneider. The Wild had three seconds remaining on a power play when Parise’s deflection crossed the goal line.

After allowing Jagr’s power play goal, the Wild cut the deficit back to one with nine minutes and 24 seconds remaining in the game. Mikael Granlund fired a bad-angle shot from the side boards off Schneider’s glove and into the net.

Matt Cooke capped the comeback by deflecting a shot from Marco Scandella into the open net behind Schneider.

The Wild (36-23-10) were given no favors by referee Justin St. Pierre. The veteran referee gave Nate Prosser a five-minute major and game misconduct for elbowing. However, Prosser did not catch Tim Sestito with an elbow and should not have been assessed a penalty, let alone a major and ejection penalty. The Wild were forced to just over two-thirds of the game with five defensemen.

The Wild return to action Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings at the Xcel Energy Center.

Three Stars

No. 3 - Andy Greene. The Devils defenseman scored the game-winning goal.

No. 2 - Adam Henrique. The Devils forward recorded three assists.

No. 1 - Patrik Elias. The Devils forward recorded three assists.

Boxscore

Minnesota…..…0 0 3 0 - 3

New Jersey……1 1 1 1 - 4

First Period - 1, New Jersey, Ryder 17 (Elias, Henrique), 16:58. Penalties - Henrique, NJ (high sticking), 4:00; Parise, MIN (hooking), 12:27; Prosser, MIN, major (elbowing), 17:59; Prosser, MIN, misconduct (game), 17:59.

Second Period - 2, New Jersey, Fayne 4 (Henrique, Elias), 9:35 (sh). Penalties - Ruutu, NJ (hooking), 8:07; Greene, NJ (interference), 18:36.

Third Period - 3, Minnesota, Parise 24 (Suter, Spurgeon), :21 (pp). 4, New Jersey, Jagr 23 (Clowe, Zajac), 3:34 (pp). 5, Minnesota, Granlund 8 (Spurgeon), 10:36. 6, Minnesota, Cooke 10 (Scandella, Brodin), 15:28. Penalties - Spurgeon, MIN (interference), 1:53; Fayne, NJ (delay of game-puck over glass), 4:59; Brodin, MIN (interference), 7:08; Zubrus, NJ (hooking), 10:55; Zajac, NJ (high sticking), 13:26.

Overtime - 7, New Jersey, Greene 8 (Henrique, Elias), 2:00. Penalties - None.

Shots on goal - Minnesota 6-6-10-1 23. New Jersey 10-8-10-1 29.

Goalies - Minnesota, Bryzgalov (25-29). New Jersey, Schneider (20-23). Referees - Dan O’Rourke, Justin St. Pierre. Linesmen - Derek Amell, Bryan Pancich.

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