Ladd scores in OT, Jets beat Wild 4-3
Dec. 28, 2014
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Things can't be going much better for the Winnipeg Jets — or worse for the Minnesota Wild.
Andrew Ladd scored a fluky goal in overtime and Winnipeg beat Minnesota 4-3 on Saturday night.
Bryan Little, Adam Lowry and Blake Wheeler also scored for Winnipeg. The Jets are 4-1-1 in their past six, 7-1-3 in the past 11 and 5-0-3 in their last eight road games.
Michael Hutchinson made 22 saves.
Refusing to come out of the game after a high stick to the face drew blood, Ladd fired a shot from the slot that went high over the Minnesota net, but bounced hard of the glass, ricocheted off the top of the net and then off the back of goalie John Curry before falling into the net at 2:47 of the extra session.
"That was one of the better bounces I've seen someone get," Little said. "I haven't seen anything like that before. That was the way the night was going for us. We were getting some bounces in our favor."
"He was bleeding pretty good and we weren't sure if we were going to be able to keep him on the bench," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "He wouldn't come off the bench and he got the good result."
A team spokesman said Ladd was not available to the media because he was receiving medical attention.
Mikael Granlund, Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek scored for Minnesota, which has lost five straight and is 1-3-3 in its past seven.
"We cannot hang our heads right now," coach Mike Yeo said. "It'd be real easy to feel sorry for ourselves, but winners don't do that and we got to make sure that we handle this adversity the right way."
That starts Monday when the teams meet again in Winnipeg.
Yeo said the Wild will be without Granlund and top-pair defenseman Jonas Brodin in that one. Granlund appeared to injure his wrist when upended on a check from Dustin Byfuglien and Brodin left after being hit hard into the boards by Grant Clitsome.
"I need more of an update, but the word I have right now is not to expect them for next game," Yeo said.
Nor can the Wild be sure who will be between the pipes.
Minnesota had to play with a goalie — Curry — seeing his first NHL action since last season. He finished with 19 saves. Curry was recalled under emergency conditions from Iowa of the AHL when the team placed Niklas Backstrom on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 21 due to illness. Minnesota's other goalie, Darcy Kuemper, also is ill.
"I thought we played really well tonight and deserved to win that game," Curry said. "I just wish I would have been able to make one more of those saves."
After two goals were scored in the first two periods, four were scored in a back-and-forth third.
Lowry gave the Jets a 2-1 lead less than 2 minutes into the frame, poking a rebound of Evander Kane's shot into the Minnesota net.
Pominville tied it 10:38, taking a pass from Stu Bickel and hammering a slap shot from the right boards into the far upper corner of the net.
Wheeler converted a centering pass from Kane for a short-handed goal at 12:09 for a 3-2 Jets lead, but Vanek tipped in a shot from Jared Spurgeon 32 seconds later to tie the game.
Granlund gave the Wild a 1-0 lead late in the first period with his first goal in 10 games when he took a pass from Pominville, faked going to his backhand before putting the puck under Hutchinson's right pad.
Little tied the game with his team-best 14th goal at 7:17 of the second period, putting a backhand between Curry's pads.
"It was pretty ugly. Especially the first two periods, there wasn't a whole lot. ... We found it a little in the third, and got a good bounce," Wheeler said.
NOTES: Curry played in two late-season games last season for the Wild. He stopped 43 shots in a 4-2 win over St. Louis April 10, and three days later stopped 10 of 12 shots in one period against Nashville. ... The Jets are 11-4-4 on the road. Winnipeg's next four games are at home, where it is 8-6-3. ... Wild LW Jason Zucker missed the game due to illness.