Wild survives big blown lead to top Ottawa 6-4
One goal might have made all the difference.
Had the Wild extended its lead against the Sabres last Saturday, it could have pulled away instead of fading. And if the Wild won instead of losing 3-2, maybe it parlays that momentum into a better start the next night in Chicago rather than falling behind en route to a 3-1 setback to the Blackhawks.
The boost never came, though, stalling the Wild in a rut.
It did, however, reappear Wednesday, and the timing couldnt have been better since the Wild needed every bit of a resurgent offense to hold off the Senators 6-4 in front of 19,035 at Xcel Energy Center to snap its two-game skid.
Defenseman Matt Dumba scored twice, and so did center Eric Staal whose second tally 14 minutes, 2 seconds into the third period doused a three-goal rally by the Senators that flipped a 4-1 deficit at the outset of the third into a tie game.
It didnt look like a photo finish would be required based on the Wilds quick start.
Not long after a Joel Eriksson Ek shot caromed off the cross bar, the Wild organized another rush into Ottawas zone and this time it converted with Eriksson Ek finding rookie Jordan Greenway for a one-timer in front 16:10 into the first period.
With just 11 seconds remaining in the frame, the Wild capitalized on the power play on a shot thats becoming a trademark of Dumbas. He connected on a slick saucer pass from winger Mikael Granlund for a one-timer inside the left faceoff circle.
The assist, Granlunds first of two on the night, was the 200th of Granlunds career.
Early in the second, the Wild delivered again with the man advantage.
This time, Staal one-timed the puck by Senators goalie Craig Anderson at 6 minutes.
Ottawa started to chip away at its deficit at 12:48, with center Chris Tierney finishing off a 2-on-1 rush with a redirect.
But that three-goal cushion resurfaced with 3:57 to go in the period when Dumba wired a wrist shot through traffic and behind Anderson for his first multi-goal effort of the season and fourth of his career.
Not only is Dumba tied for the team lead in goals, but he paces all NHL defensemen with 10 and four power-play tallies.
It was also a fruitful showing for the power play, as it ended the game 2-for-4.
The unit has secured a goal in five straight games, boasting seven during the streak. Its lone blemish was a shorthanded goal surrendered 52 seconds into the third period to Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot the first goal given up by the power play this season. Ottawa went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
That seemed to galvanize the Senators, who scored twice more in 1:23 to pull even with the Wild.
Defenseman Christian Jaros shot eluded goalie Devan Dubnyk at 11:32, and then a Colin White floater at 12:55 chased Dubnyk from the game. Backup Alex Stalock came on in relief, making one save the rest of the way. Dubnyk posted 22.
And the change in net sparked the Wild, as Staal responded with the go-ahead goal on a rolling shot before center Eric Fehr added an empty-netter with 38 seconds remaining.
Anderson totaled 28 stops.