Justice prevailed tonight in a big way, although as Eric Belanger said after, "They still got a point. That is so sad."
Wild could have been two points out of eighth if San Jose had beaten Dallas in regulation. Instead Dallas just beat San Jose in an 11-round shootout to keep the Wild four back.
Still, unreal Wild's even this close considering Wild was 3-9 in October at one point.
Words really can't describe how the Wild played tonight. You had to see it. Total domination in an arena the Wild never ever wins in.
From the opening faceoff, the Wild came to play. It held Calgary without a shot for the first 12 1/2 minutes, it took 19 shots in the first period (as many as it used to take in a game in this building) and by the end, it had a 46-23 shot advantage (46 shots a season-high and one off the team road mark).
Havlat, who routinely torches the Flames and really lifted the young Blackhawks on his back during an exceptional playoff series against Calgary last April, came to play from the beginning as well. Inside 30 seconds, he pickpocketed a Flames defender and set up Guillaume Latendresse for three whacks.
But like he did all night, Miikka Kiprusoff stoned the Wild. He was absolutely sensational, literally taking six or seven sure goals from the net. It really was something to be seen.
Then, when Aaron Johnson scored his first goal as a Flame five minutes into the third, the Wild just had to cave, right?
Nope. As I said on Twitter, it would take an accident or unconventional goal to beat Kipper on this evening, and it did. Havlat, working the half wall, set up Shane Hnidy at the point. His shot sailed off a stanchion and landed at James Sheppard's stick. From behind the goal line, he roofed it from a bad angle for the tying goal four minutes later.
The Wild didn't sit back. The last four minutes, the Wild absolutely peppered Kiprusoff, but he again came up with save after save.
But in OT, Havlat came through with the big goal, his first since Nov. 10, and fifth career OT winner.
I asked him if this was his best game as a Wild (it was), and he smiled and said, "Well, I scored a goal. That was unusual."
At least Havlat hasn't lost his sense of humor.
The win snapped a seven-game regulation losing streak in this building and was only the fourth in team history and second since the lockout. As deserved a win as I've ever seen. I am not kidding. It would have been one of the biggest thieveries in history if the Wild didn't get two points out of this.
The one bad thing is Owen Nolan was injured at the end of the second period. He tweaked something in his leg, and Richards said the Wild will know more tomorrow. I saw Nolan sitting after the game, and he was at least laughing and joking with the guys, so hopefully that's something of a good sign.
The one big thing I need to trim out of my gamer was the fight.
Lastly, and here's a neat story, but Wild media relations guru Ryan Stanzel and senior manager of suite service and premium operations Keri Johnson were married Thursday at Horace Mann School in front of an estimated 60 people.
Stanzel and Johnson take part in the Wild's mentoring program, and they each mentored one child apiece in Amy Kortuem's fourth-grade class. Miranda and Jackson served as junior maid of honor and junior best man.
The entire wedding was put on by the Horace Mann PTA, parent volunteers and one of Ryan and Keri's coworkers.