Momentum seemed to change with just one shift.
Winger Zach Parise had a wrap-around that missed.
Center Eric Staal had a look, and then defenseman Matt Dumba had a pair of shots.
Not long after, winger Marcus Foligno drew a penalty and the Wild converted on the ensuing power play – the tying goal that appeared to set the tone in an eventual 3-2 shootout win over the Blue Jackets Tuesday at Nationwide Arena.
“The first 10 minutes of the second period, it was a perfect road game,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Getting it deep, shooting at the net, going at the net, doing all the simple things.”
The start of the period was exactly the burst expected after a layoff like the Wild just had over the weekend with the All-Star break; it jumped on pucks, hustled and was focused on Columbus’ goal.
While the Wild wasn’t as prepared from puck drop, falling into a one-goal hole in the first two minutes, it found its legs in time. And that turnaround no doubt helped it build a rhythm that culminated in the extra-time victory.
“It’s enjoyable to watch them work that way,” goalie Devan Dubnyk said. “That’s something I see a lot of when we get four lines going like that, we can overwhelm teams and get them hemmed in and bring pucks to the net. There’s a couple goals that could have easily gone in with a little luck.”
Here’s what else to watch for after the Wild’s shootout win.
- Forward Charlie Coyle snapped an eight-game goal drought with his third-period marker.
Coyle is well behind the 18-goal pace he had last season, a drop in production after he missed 16 games with a right fibula fracture.
But a shot like the one he employed against the Blue Jackets is an encouraging sign.
“Sometimes they come. Sometimes you’re inches away. You can get discouraged, or you can keep fighting back. I just gotta do the right things, play my game. As long as we get two points, that’s all that matters.
“But I’m going to keep fighting to keep contributing.”
- Coyle’s goal came off an odd-man rush, which the team worked on in practice Monday.
Execution during that session wasn’t exactly spot on, but Coyle delivered when it mattered most.
“Normally he tries to make a play there and would be passing,” Boudreau said. “He just wound up and shot it.”
- Boudreau is still hopeful winger Nino Niederreiter (lower-body injury) could play Friday at home against the Golden Knights if he gets through the next few practices with the team.
“I’ll find out how he did [Tuesday],” Boudreau said. “So far, his reports he’s been skating for 60 minutes. We got two practices in the next two days, so maybe it’ll happen.”