Alexander Shun | @alexpshun
Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com
The Minnesota Wild closed their franchise-record eight-game homestand Monday night with a thrilling and well-earned 5-4 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
The Wild were short-handed playing without Zach Parise and Jason Pominville who were diagnosed with mumps just hours before the puck dropped. As if that wasn't enough, the Wild were also integrating two new players - Martin Hanzal and Ryan White who were acquired in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes late Sunday night - and they were coming off a five day break, during which they saw their Western Conference lead shrink from five points to just a single point over the rival Chicago Blackhawks.
Erasing a one-goal deficit on four separate occasions, Minnesota tied the game at 4-4 near the halfway point of the third period before Mikael Granlund sent the Wild home winners just 12 seconds into the overtime period, sliding the puck past a sprawling Jonathan Quick for his 20th goal of the season.
"I think a lot of times we've seen that before, so everybody knows we can do it and it's not a big deal if we go down," Granlund said, speaking of the Wild's ability to come back multiple times Monday night. "Obviously we'd like to lead the game, but sometimes it's like that."
"Every time he touches the puck I feel like he has the ability to make a play or put it in the net," Boudreau said.
Hanzal and White, the newest members of the team, arrived less than two hours before the start of the game and had just a few minutes to acclimate themselves with the team's systems. Thankfully for Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau and the team, it worked.
Hanzal finished with two shots on goal and five hits while White had a splashier debut with Minnesota due to both his 'hockey hair' and his play on the ice.
White finished with a goal and an assist in less than 10 minutes of ice time.
"I was telling myself all day, that it's just hockey, so just go out there and play," White said after his debut with the Wild. "I got lucky. I had a couple good line-mates out there tonight that made things easy on me. I was just trying to do the right things and got rewarded."
"They must have been exhausted," Boudreau said of his team's newly-acquired players in Hanzal and White. "They must've been running on pure adrenaline."
Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk had a relatively solid night, stopping 26 of Los Angeles' 30 shots and earning his league-leading 33rd win of the season.
"It doesn't matter if we score four when we give up five," Kings Center Nick Shore said after the game. "We had a couple breakdowns and [Quick] had some huge saves for us tonight. We're just going to have to get after it tomorrow."
Quick finished with 30 saves on 35 Wild shots in the loss.
The Wild have a quick turnaround as they will now travel to Winnipeg to take on the Jets Tuesday night.