Mo(town)-mentum: Wild beats Detroit 4-3 in OT
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
Before anyone puts money down on Minnesota Wild playoff tickets, you'd be better advised to spend a few bucks on a Thanksgiving turkey first. In other words, it's early. But it still feels good if you're a fan of the local hockey club.
On Friday night in Detroit, the Wild rallied from a late deficit, getting a Mikko Koivu goal with 83 seconds left in regulation to tie, and a John Madden goal in overtime, beating the Red Wings 4-3.
It was the six win in eight games for the Wild, which almost immediately served notice that the hot times would continue. First Brent Burns - playing his first game since serving a two-match suspension mandated by the NHL - zipped a shot through a crowd in front of the Detroit net. It was Burns' sixth goal, which tied him for the team lead, briefly, and places him atop the list of NHL defensemen. Two Minnesotans - Atlanta's Dustin Byfuglien, from Roseau, and Buffalo's Jordan Leopold, from Plymouth, are next on the list with five goals each.
In the second, Cal Clutterbuck proved that there's more to him than just the NHL's best moustache, as he forcefully re-claimed the team lead in goals, scoring his seventh of the season to give the Wild a 2-0 lead. It was the first time since January 2008 that the Wild had taken a two-goal lead in the Red Wings' home rink.
The Wild made it look, briefly, like a commanding 3-1 lead was going to happen, when Koivu split the Wings defense and came in alone on Jimmy Howard. But the Detroit goalie snuffed the solo rush, and just seconds later Johan Franzen scored for the Wings to tie the game, snapping a wide-angle shot past Theodore. Just minutes later, the Joe Louis Arena crowd was on its feet again, this time cheering Patrick Eaves, as his wrap-around shot slipped under the paddle of Theodore's stick, putting the Wings ahead.
With the clock dwindling, and the Red Wings' clamp-down defense giving the wild nothing in front of the net, defenseman Nick Schultz instead took the puck hard down the right wing, and zipped a shot on goal from a bad angle. Wings goalie Jimmy Howard uncharacteristically gave up a huge rebound, perfectly placing the puck at the top of the goal crease, where Koivu needed little effort to tie the game.
In the extra session, Marek Zidlicky kept a play alive in the offensive zone, frustrating the Wings defenders long enough to get a puck on net, where Madden slammed home the rebound. It was the fourth goal of the season for Madden, who played college hockey just down the road from the Joe at Michigan.
There's little time for the Wild to celebrate, as another Original Six foe, with some familiar faces, awaits in St. Paul. The New York Rangers, featuring former Wild fan favorites Marian Gaborik and Derek Boogaard, visit the X on Saturday night.