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Updated: March 15th, 2014 10:39pm
Sergei Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets fend off Wild in shootout

Sergei Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets fend off Wild in shootout

by The Associated Press
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- On a night when each goalie was at the top of his game, it took a video review to decide the winner.

Ryan Johansen scored in the fourth round of the shootout to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

Johansen's shot initially was ruled a rebound, but a video review showed that Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper did not touch the puck, making it a legal shootout goal.

"Good job, Toronto," Johansen said, referring to the video review team in the NHL offices. "I knew I scored. I just didn't know what they were talking about at first."

The shootout capped a night of brilliant goaltending from the Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky and Minnesota's Kuemper. Bobrovsky, last year's Vezina Trophy winner, stopped 32 of 33 shots through overtime, while Kuemper finished with 28 saves.

In three games at the Xcel Energy Center, Bobrovsky is 3-0 and has allowed just four goals on 90 shots.

"I don't know what it is," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "I don't know if it's being in Minnesota, or if there's something in this building, (but it) certainly looks like he's comfortable playing in this building, and he's the main reason why we got two points tonight."

In the shootout, Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu put Minnesota ahead 2-0, but Artem Anisimov and Mark Letestu rallied the Blue Jackets with goals and Bobrovsky shut down the Wild the rest of the way to set up Johansen's clincher.

The Wild wrapped up a four-game homestand with a 1-0-3 record. Losing three shootouts in a week could have left a sour taste in their mouths, but coach Mike Yeo chose to focus on the positives after the game.

"You lose in a shootout and it paints an ugly picture. I'm actually happy with the way our guys battled in this game," said Yeo, whose team increased its lead over Dallas to five points in the race for seventh place in the Western Conference. "I thought we generated some great quality chances tonight. I thought we defended hard."

On a night that featured just two regulation goals and one penalty, it took almost 40 minutes for somebody to score. Columbus finally broke through on a goal by Dalton Prout with 21.6 seconds to play in the second period. Prout took a pass from Jack Johnson at the top of the slot and fired a slap shot that deflected off Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin's knee and past Kuemper.

The Wild tied it 3:12 into the third period on Jason Pominville's team-leading 25th goal. Parise chased down a loose puck behind Columbus' net and slipped a pass out front to Pominville, who beat Bobrovsky on his glove side to make it 1-1.

Bobrovsky kept it tied with a pair of sterling saves on Charlie Coyle and Kyle Brodziak midway through the third. Coyle jumped on a funny hop off the end boards for a clear shot that Bobrovsky turned away, and later in the same shift Brodziak deflected a blast from the point that the Columbus goalie smothered.

Meanwhile, the Wild's rookie goalie kept them in the game. Kuemper denied Derek MacKenzie from point-blank range and steered away or swallowed up anything the Blue Jackets sent his way.

"When you're seeing the goalie down there making saves, you don't want that to be the difference," Kuemper said. "You want to do your job as well. So you just try to go with him, stop for stop."

Bobrovsky's biggest save of the night might have been one that didn't even count. With just under 2 minutes left in regulation, Parise centered the puck from the left boards. Blue Jackets forward Nathan Horton broke up the pass but almost inadvertently tipped it past Bobrovsky, who had to scramble to get his right skate on the puck and keep it out of the net.

© The Associated Press
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