Boston got an early lead on a goofy bounce, got great goaltending
from a second-stringer, and left winger Loui Eriksson scored in
overtime as the Bruins snapped a three-game losing streak, beating
the Minnesota Wild 3-2.
Centers Carl Soderberg and Patrice Bergeron also scored for Boston
(16-13-3), which lost six of its previous seven games. Goalie Niklas
Svedberg, starting for the first time after a five-game layoff,
stopped 35 Minnesota shots in the win.
"You know what, it's time we got a break," Bruins coach Claude
Julien said. "If people have watched us, I'm sure a lot of people
said finally it's going our way. I think we lead the league in
disallowed goals and the least amount of power plays, so we'll take
the breaks when they come our way."
The Wild got a goals from center Kyle Brodziak and right winger
Jason Pominville, and out-shot the Bruins by a wide margin, but
could not get anther puck past Svedberg and lost for the second
night in a row. Goalie Niklas Backstrom had 22 saves for the
Eriksson got a cross ice-pass in the overtime, which the Bruins
dominated, and slapped the puck behind Backstrom, who had been
pulled out of position by the pass. It was the second goal in three
games for Eriksson.
"Disappointing end to an otherwise pretty strong game," said Wild
coach Mike Yeo.
Soderberg scored in back-to-back games in early November but had
gone more than a month without solving a goalie. During a first
period scramble of bodies in front of the Wild net, with Backstrom
out of position, Soderberg's initial shot was blocked by a Wild
right winger Justin Fontaine, but Soderberg got his own rebound and
fired into the net before the goalie could scramble back into
Minnesota needed less than half a minute to answer, as Brodziak
ripped a rising shot that eluded Svedberg before deflecting off the
goal post and in. Left winger Brett Sutter, playing just his second
game for Minnesota, had an assist on the play, which was his first
point as a member of the Wild.
Bergeron re-claimed a lead for the Bruins late in the first, when
Backstrom mis-played a harmless-looking dump-in from the blue line.
The puck seemed to skip off the ice in front of the net, and
handcuffed Backstrom, sailing under his right arm. It was Bergeron's
sixth goal of the season.
"It took a bounce," Bergeron said. "On the first bounce it came back
toward the net. Then I got hit, so I didn't see what happened, but I
saw the puck in the back of the net, and I'm not going to complain."
Backstrom, who has been Minnesota's backup goalie behind Darcy
Kuemper for much of the season, was playing on back-to-back nights
after Kuemper came down with a stomach illness prior to the Wild's
Tuesday night game in Chicago. Kuemper was scratched Wednesday, and
Minnesota called up John Curry from its Iowa AHL team to serve the
[to top of second column]
Minnesota did everything but score in the second period,
out-shooting the Bruins 20-5, and hitting the post twice. The Wild's
power play, among the NHL's worst all season, struggled again,
managing just one shot on goal during 73 second 5-on-3 advantage.
"It's kind of nice to have a lot of shots because you're in the game
all the time," said Svedberg, now 4-4-0 this season. "But it was a
hard-fought period for us and kind of 'scrambly' at some points. We
worked through it and overall we worked hard throughout the game.
It's good to get the win."
Pominville tied the game in the third on a strange play. Wild
defenseman Ryan Suter's initial shot was saved, and the Bruins tried
to clear the rebound. Suter poked the puck toward the net where it
glanced off Pominville's stick and between Svedberg's pads.
"Extremely frustrating," Pominville said. "One of those nights where
we generate some looks, some attempts. We had some shots, hit a
couple posts. We got good goaltending. Just one of those you feel
like you waste because you're having a tough time putting them in
the back of the net."
NOTES: Two members of the Wild hit the same milestone Wednesday, as
RW Jason Pominville and D Ryan Suter both played in their 700th
career game. ... Bruins C David Krejci skated in practice the
previous few days, and he finally returned to the lineup Wednesday
night. He missed 21 games this season, and the previous 12 in a row,
while battling a groin injury. ... After scoring 14 goals in 81
games with the Wild last season, RW Nino Niederreiter scored his
14th goal of the season in his 29th game on a penalty shot Tuesday
night in Minnesota's 5-3 loss in Chicago. ... The Wild will play
their next three games at home, starting Saturday when they host the
Nashville Predators. The Bruins finish their three-game road trip
Friday night in Winnipeg against the Jets.
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