By: Kate Butler | KFAN.com
After a long Olympic break, the Wild played their second straight game tonight in Vancouver. Minnesota defeated the Oilers last night in Edmonton 3-0 and hoped to make tonight their second consecutive win on the road. After sixty five solid minutes of battling, and seven rounds of a shootout, Minnesota was able to pick up the W tonight in Vancouver, thanks to Justin Fontaine.
Darcy Kuemper got the nod once again tonight, for this 14th consecutive start. Shutting down 30 shots tonight through three periods, one overtime, and seven rounds of a shootout, Kuemper kept the Wild in the game.
“I’ve just been trying to take advantage of my opportunity.” Kuemper said of his start tonight.
Ryan Kesler gave Vancouver the early lead just over five minutes into the opening period with a short-handed goal. The Wild took their time but were able to answer before the end of the period. A screen on Lack, provided by Heately, gave Parise the chance to tie the game on a power play at 14:12.
The second period was scoreless, as a result of an evenly matched battle. While Minnesota was outshot 11-6, Kuemper was able to keep his team in the game, shutting down every shot. Vancouver picked up their third penalty of the game when Ryan Kesler took a trip to the box for hooking Mikael Granlund.
The final period of regulation play opened with both teams still knotted at one goal each. Minnesota was outscored again this period 9-3. Sixty minutes just wasn’t enough to settle this game, and it rolled into the extra session after a scoreless third period.
Parise was sent to the box just 1:27 into the five-minute sudden death overtime. Even with the 4-on-3 advantage for two full minutes, Vancouver was unable to get anything past Kuemper. Minnesota was unable to score as well, forcing the game to be decided with a shootout.
Parise shot first for Minnesota and was shut down by Eddie Lack. Shooting first for Vancouver, Kassian wasn’t able to sneak it past Kuemper. Charlie Coyle was up next for the Wild and missed the net, while Burrows tried to score on his backhand but failed. Lack was able to make the save when Pomminville came in, and Higgins was shut down by Kuemper. Granlund shot next for Wild and was denied by Lack, while Kuemper denied Schroeder. Niederreiter couldn’t get the puck past Lack, and Diaz shot just wide of Kuemper. Heately was stopped by Lack, followed by Kesler, who missed the net. On to the 7th round, Fontaine scored for Minnesota, Kuemper slammed the door on Booth, and the Wild took home the win tonight.
“Coming off the break we wanted to get back to how we were playing before, and two wins, we’ll take that!”- Kuemper told Tom Reid of the win after the game.
The Wild will travel home to Minnesota to take on the Calgary Flames this Monday. The puck drops at 7 p.m. and you can catch all the action on FM 100.3 KFAN and iHeartRadio.com.