Niklas Backstrom battled through 65 minutes of regulation and then five rounds of shootout before becoming a hard-luck loser.
The Minnesota Wild’s all-time wins leader made 12 more saves than his counterpart Jonathan Quick en route to a 3-2 shootout loss. His save percentage is now up to a very solid .926, which is way more in line with his career .918. In short, last year’s terrible could be the exception as opposed to the rule.
While the change in Minnesota’s system seems scary, they might have figured it out. The addition of Matt Cullen, as my colleague Reggie Yinger pointed out yesterday, has solidified their second line and gives them two solid lines of scoring. Heck, Yahoo! even took notice of their powerplay totals.
However, last night the Los Angeles Kings received powerplay goals from Anze Kopitar and Jarret Stoll, beating the Wild at their own game.
Over in Montreal, Carey Price and Ilya Bryzgalov each faced 29 shots. Price turned aside 27 while Bryz only 26 as the Habs beat the Yotes in overtime. The Canadiens top line of Andrei Kostitsyn, Michael Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec got a point in all three goals. Top line rookie Kyle Turris put his third goal of the season on the board and veteran Derek Morris put in his first of the year. The former now has four points in his first five games, showing he might not be ruined by Gretzky.
The other game of the night saw Brian Boucher and the Philadelphia Flyers lose to the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1. Thanks to a powerplay tally from Derrick Brassard the Jackets took the lead and did not look back. Mathieu Garon made 28 saves for his second win in as many appearances.