Cal Clutterbuck, Devin Setoguchi lift Wild to another shootout victory
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Cal Clutterbuck's game-tying tip-in with 3:12 left in regulation and Devin Setoguchi's shootout goal lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
Setoguchi's glove-side shot was the only one that went in during the skills contest. Josh Harding made 22 saves and was unscored upon after midway through the first period when Jamal Mayers gave the Blackhawks an early lead. The Hawks had only two shots on goal over the last 25 minutes of the game, one in the third.
Their struggling special teams didn't help. The Wild gave them four power plays over the first two periods, including a five-minute man-advantage situation, but the Blackhawks didn't score on any of those. Then their penalty kill let in a late goal.
With forwards Andrew Brunette (lower-body injury) and Dave Bolland (upper-body injury) also out, Mayers and his fourth-line mates were more of an offensive asset than usual.
The Wild beat the Blackhawks 5-4 in a shootout on Sunday, a game filled with 58 penalty minutes. There was some carry-over, with several scrums but no fights. Wild defenseman Nate Prosser was given a five-minute major penalty and ejected from the game for head-butting Mayers in the face a few minutes after his goal, which was put together with pure hustle.
Mayers, who won nine of 12 faceoffs against the Wild on Sunday, took a draw and knocked the puck back to Michael Frolik, who skated behind the net with Warren Peters all over him and threw a shot at Harding with a quick pivot. Mayers was there for the rebound.
The Wild raised their record to 4-0-1 in their past five games, all of them lasting past regulation. This late surge is pushing them down the draft board for this summer, but they've insisted playing well to finish the season is more important. They've got the seventh-worst record in the league. The last five teams get in the lottery for the first overall pick.
Still, with 81 points, they'd need to beat Phoenix on Saturday to avoid their worst finish in 10 years, despite notching the NHL's best record at the 30-game mark this season.
Bryan Bickell's slick tip-in of a blue line slap shot by Niklas Hjalmarsson would've given the Blackhawks a two-goal lead midway through the third period, but the score was waved off after a video review because Bickell's stick was too high. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, his arms folded across his suit jacket, just shook his head on the bench after hearing the call.
That became more critical when defenseman Marco Scandella, who set a Wild franchise record with more than 33 minutes of ice time, sent a slap shot toward Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford. With Clutterbuck tangling for position with Duncan Keith, the puck glanced off Clutterbuck and in to tie the game with 3:12 left.
Entering the game, the Blackhawks were 23rd on the power play and 28th on the penalty kill in the league.
46: Players who have appeared in a game for the Wild this season, nine short of the NHL record set by the Boston Bruins in 1991-92.
15: Rookies who have appeared in a game for the Wild this season -- an NHL-high -- after D Tyler Cuma's debut.
Chicago -- Jamal Mayers (6) from Michael Frolik (10), 11:37.
Wild -- Erik Christensen (save), Mikko Koiva (save), Devin Setoguchi (goal).
Chicago -- Patrick Kane (save), Patrick Sharp (save), Viktor Stalberg (miss).
The Wild wrap the season at home against Phoenix at 7 p.m. Saturday.© The Associated Press