The Minnesota Wild have struggled in several arenas. The team played games in two of them this week.
After snapping an 11 game winless streak in Vancouver on Monday, the Wild snapped a 13-game regulation winless streak at Joe Louis Arena with a 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday.
The Wild (17-10-2) got on the board first when Devin Setoguchi scored to extend his point streak to five games. Matt Cullen, now on a six-game point streak, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, now on a four-game point streak, recorded the assists. There are not many lines hotter than this trio.
Setoguchi later scored his second goal of the game and 11th of the season for the team's second power play goal of the game at the 17:15 mark of the second period. Setoguchi has moved into a tie for the team lead with Zach Parise for goals. Dany Heatley and Bouchard recorded the two assists.
The Wild extended its lead with a power play goal at the 3:51 mark of the second period when Kyle Brodziak one-timed a pass from Jared Spurgeon past Jimmy Howard. Ryan Suter recorded the second assist to extend his team-lead to 22.
Mikko Koivu gave the Wild its second two-goal lead of the game when he scored his seventh goal of the season. Parise and Charlie Coyle recorded assists on the goal. Jonas Brodin did not factor into the score sheet, but he made the play to lead a 2-on-1 rush.
The Wild got the first two shots of the game, including the goal, but were outshot 18-3 over the final 17 minutes and 30 seconds of the first period and finished the game with a 38-19 disadvantage.
The Red Wings (14-11-5) got on the board at the 9:09 mark of the second period when Gustav Nyquist beat Niklas Backstrom on a breakaway. After the Wild won the draw in the offensive zone, Spurgeon was unable to corral a pass from Heatley and Nyquist used his speed to pull away from Clayton Stoner.
The Wild benefitted in the first period from a controversy - all reports say it was a bad call - when the Red Wings were called for playing the puck with a high stick before knocking it across the goal line. Replays appeared to show that Drew Miller knocked the puck off Heatley's glove with his stick before Jordin Tootoo knocked it into the net.
The special teams units usually play a factor in an NHL game and the Wild made them matter. The Wild scored on two of its three opportunities while holding the Red Wings to one goal (which came with 13.9 seconds remaining) in five chances with the man advantage.
No. 3 – Pierre-Marc Bouchard. The Wild forward recorded two assists.
No. 2 – Devin Setoguchi. The Wild forward scored two goals.
No. 1 – Niklas Backstrom. The Wild goaltender stopped 36 shots.
Minnesota…..1 3 0 – 4
Detroit………0 1 1 – 2
First Period – 1, Minnesota, Setoguchi 10 (Cullen, Bouchard), 2:04. Penalties – Mitchell, Min (hooking), 2:27; Konopka, Min (tripping), 12:43.
Second Period – 2, Minnesota, Brodziak 5 (Spurgeon, Suter), 3:51 (pp). 3, Detroit, Nyquist 1 (unassisted), 9:09. 4, Minnesota, Koivu 7 (Coyle, Parise), 10:49. 5, Minnesota, Setoguchi 11 (Heatley, Bouchard), 17:15 (pp). Penalties – Kronwall, Det, double minor, (high sticking), :30; Kindl, Det (tripping), 15:36; Clutterbuck, Min (roughing), 18:19; Clutterbuck, Min (roughing; served by Bouchard), 18:19; Abdelkader, Det (roughing), 18:19.
Third Period – 6, Detroit, Miller 2 (Tootoo), 19:46 (pp). Penalties – Prosser, Min (concealing puck), 6:57; Konopka, Min (hooking), 19:35.
Shots on goal – Minnesota 5-12-2 19. Detroit 18-9-12 38.
Goalies – Minnesota, Backstrom (36-38). Detroit, Howard (15-19). A – 20,066. Referees – Dave Jackson, Tom Kowal. Linesmen – Scott Cherrey, Steve Miller.