St. Paul, Feb. 12 (BNA): Mats Zuccarello and Frederic Goudreau scored in a shootout as the struggling Minnesota Wild beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Saturday night.
Joel Erickson Ek and Ryan Hartmann scored in the standings and Philip Gustafsson stopped 27 shots for the Wild, which ended the three-game skid.
“They’re a good team. We know we’re a good team. We were struggling. But this is a win for character,” Hartmann said.
Gustafsson added, “Pressure is good in a way when you can handle it. It makes you perform better. And I think we showed up today, again, as if we created our own confidence.”
Thomas Tatar scored twice for the Devils, whose three-game winning streak ended, but New Jersey has been 10-1-2 in their last 13 games. According to the Associated Press (AP), Vitek Vanicek made 22 saves.
Starting a four-game trip, the Devils are still a league-best 19-3-3 on the road.
“Every point is big, and we know that. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get two points, but one, we’ll take it, we want to learn the mistake we made and be better in the next game,” said Tatar.
Since the start of the 2021-22 season, Minnesota leads the NHL with 24 wins in extra session games. It’s 5-2 in penalties this season.
Zuccarello scored on the Wild’s first penalty attempt and the Tatar miss to the Devils. Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov and New Jersey’s Jesper Pratt both missed the second round before Gaudro slowly skated and hit a high glove side shot.
Down by one entering the third period, Matt Doumba hit Hartmann’s left elbow past Vanesek at 5:25. It took Hartmann a few seconds to get up gingerly before celebrating.
“Especially the way she’s been going lately, it can be easy to just think she’s not going our way. That’s not what we did.
The Devils are up 2-1 after two periods thanks to the Tatars’ first multiplayer game since April 12, 2021, when he played for Montreal. New Jersey entered the game 22-0-1 when they took the lead after two periods.
After an opening period in which New Jersey struggled to get consistent marking or offensive zone timing, Tatar took a feed from Ondrej Palat and fired a cannonball shot past Gustavsson early in the second. Just three minutes later he redirected a blast from Damon Severson.
Al-Tatar scored 15 goals, made 15 assists, and was under-22 last season, his first with New Jersey. This year, the left winger has 30 points and 12 goals which is plus-28.
With Jack Hughes out for 35 goals, New Jersey head coach Lindy Ruff knows success will come when he’s scored by committee. “On a night like this one, you had to find ways to put the puck in the back of the net. But Tatar game, he had some good chances and he capitalized on a couple of nice plays and he was around the front of the net.”
The Wild outperformed badly in a 4-1 loss in Dallas on Wednesday and a 5-1 loss at home to Vegas on Thursday. The Wild came away with a solid effort and a quick lead when Erickson Ek redirected a shot off the wrist of Kalen Addison for a power-play mark of nearly six. minutes in.
Success from the blue line
New Jersey fullback Dougie Hamilton got an assist to extend his point streak to seven games. He has five goals and nine assists over the period. His 37 assists for the season are a match-high in 2016-17 with Calgary.
Addison’s assist gave him 23 for the season, and it was his 18th power play point. Both are top NHL rookie defensemen.
Devils: In Columbus on a Tuesday night.
Wild: Florida Monday Night host.