BY: Kate Butler | KFAN.com
The Wild returned home tonight to the Xcel Center after a 4-game road trip to host the Pittsburgh Penguins. In front of the largest crowd ever at the Xcel Energy Center, 19,409 fans, the Wild were able to pull out the W tonight. A 4-0 win for Minnesota gave Ilya Bryzgalov his first shut out in a Wild sweater, the 33rd of his career.
Erik Haula gave the Wild the early lead at 1:42 of the game with his 5th goal of the season. Just like that, Minnesota picked up the crucial 1-0 lead, with the assists going to Moulson and Pominville. A wrister from Koivu at 8:47 gave Minnesota the two-goal lead. At 14:46 Veilleux opened the gap for the Wild, giving his team a cushy 3-0 lead before the end of the opening period.
The second period opened with Minnesota leading Pittsburgh 3-0. There was no answer from the Penguins this period, and they were outshot 10-5. At 6:24 into the period, Cody McCormick blasted a snap shot past Zatkoff, putting his team up 4-0.
The third and final period of play opened with Minnesota up by 4 and playing what Head Coach Mike Yeo refers to as “their game.” While the Wild were outshot 7-4 this period, they were able to take down the Penguins four to zip.
Ilya Bryzgalov told Tom Reid after the game, “Right now we are battling for a playoff spot and every game is so important. …I feel very well, but the team played in front of me unbelievably.”
The Wild will travel to Winnipeg to take on the Jets on Monday. The puck drops at 7p.m. and you can catch all the action at KFAN 100.3 FM and on iHeartRadio.com.