Kyle Brodziak scores in regulation and shootout to complete Wild rally
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
Trailing 2-0 in the second period on the road, the new attitude of the Minnesota Wild put on what's becoming its normal show. The Wild got a pair of late second period goals, had myriad chances in overtime and won in a shootout in Edmonton.
The 3-2 win over the Oilers gave coach Mike Yeo and company two more critical points in the Northwest Division, and once again gives them the best record in the NHL as December begins.
Kyle Brodziak scored in regulation and got the shootout winner as the Wild got their third shootout win over the Oilers this season.
At one time, forcing overtime on the road and getting a point for just getting to a fourth period seemed to be enough for the Wild. But those days are seemingly gone, and team that's holding down the best record in the NHL clearly wants more.
That was in evidence in the final minute of overtime, after Edmonton's Ryan Smyth had been sent to the penalty box for tripping Jared Spurgeon, and Wild coach Mike Yeo pushed all his chips to the middle of the table.
Teams skate 4-on-4 in overtime, meaning the power play gave the Wild a 4-on-3 advantage, and for the final shift of the extra session, Yeo put four forwards - Dany Heatley, Matt Cullen, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Mikko Koivu - on the ice to fire away at the Edmonton net.
The Wild out-shot the Oilers in overtime, but did not score. But the message was sent. There will be no more settling for one point for the Wild. Anything less than a pair, even on the road, even when trailing by two goals in the second period, is less than the team expects.
All four of those forwards got another chance in overtime, with Bouchard, Koivu and Heatley all getting pucks over the goal line. And Brodziak, the former Oiler, snapped a 5-hole shot past Khabibulin in the sixth round of the shootout. It was his first career shootout goal.
Brodziak's shootout winner was a beauty, but his more important tying goal won't make a lot of season highlight reels. Trailing 2-1, the Wild were digging hard around the Edmonton net when a shot on goal bounced up, hit Brodziak in the arm, and trickled past Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. It was called a goal on the ice, and after a lengthy review officials upheld the call, giving the Wild a 2-2 tie, and the momentum.
• 2:12: Time it took Brad Staubitz to settle his differences with Darcy Hordichuk, left over from the two teams' last meeting in St. Paul. The two men dropped gloves in an early fight.
• 11: Wild wins in November, a franchise record.
• 7-3-2: The Wild's road record.
Two members of the Wild failed to finish the game after two very different late game collisions. Cal Clutterbuck had a thigh-to-knee crash with Ryan Whitney and limped off the ice. Yeo said afterward that Whitney is not a dirty player, but a penalty should been called on the play, and added that it was thankfully not a knee injury that kept Clutterbuck out for the second half of the game. Forward Darroll Powe left the game in the third after he hit the boards near the Oilers bench and hit the corner where the door to the bench was open. Yeo said he did not know the severity of the Powe ailment.
Oilers - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 11 (Sutton, Eberle), 9:58
Oilers: Eberle X, Hemsky O, Gagner X, Nugent-Hopkins O, Horcoff X, Smyth O
Wild: Bouchard X, Koivu X, Cullen O, Setoguchi O, Heatley X, Brodziak X
Shots: Wild 7-10-9-3-29; Oilers 9-8-12-1-30. Saves: Wild, Niklas Backstrom (28-30); Oilers, Nikolai Khabibulin (27-29). Power plays: Wild 1-for-6, Oilers 1-4.
1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
2. Kyle Brodziak
3. Jordan Eberle
The quick one-game road trip over, the Wild come right back home for an important battle versus one of the contenders from the East. The New Jersey Devils were stung on Wednesday night, losing 6-1 in Colorado, but the Minnesota native Zach Parise healthy again and Martin Brodeur padding his NHL record stats in net, the crew from Newark is still dangerous and likely to draw a nice crowd when the visit St. Paul on Friday night.