The Minnesota Wild simply dominated the Vancouver Canucks last night, defeating them 6-2.
Six different Wild players managed to put one past Roberto Luongo as the elite netminder saved only 12 shots. Niklas Backstrom played an excellent game, as he often does at home, setting aside 25 shots despite allowing two goals by Daniel Sedin. Neither of the Sedin twins seemed phased by the team’s lack of defense as they still gave your fantasy team what it needed.
Guillaume Latendresse, Matt Cullen, Martin Havlat, Antti Miettinen and Marek Zidlicky all put up multiple points as the home team cruised to their first blowout victory. Stranger things have happened but perhaps head coach Todd Richards got through to his players with a his physical, bootcamp-style practice.
In Washington, Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins finally figured out how to beat the Capitals. The Bruins’ top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton tapped in two early goals and the Caps simply did not come back. Not only did the team lose the game but they also lost starting goalie Michal Neuvirth to injury, as he left and gave way to Semyon Varlamov after letting in the eventual game-winning-goal. Rookie Marcus Johansson scored his first NHL goal as the Bruins otherwise shut out their opponent.
The return of Pekka Rinne was a success as he registered a regulation shutout. Unfortunately, his Finnish counterpart Miikka Kiprusoff was just that much better as he posted a shutout against the hosting Nashville Predators. Returning from a concussion, winger Rene Bourque scored the only goal of the game on a dirty play in front of the net in overtime. Defenseman Ian White assisted on the play, with this helper not coming off his face.
For the second straight game San Jose Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi let in more than four goals. The Sharks, who started the game with the lowest goals forced in the League, had trouble finishing plays despite leading in shots on goal for most of the game. Patrick Marleau put across two goals but the team was still unable to break the three goal plateau.
On the road, the Canes tried mixing things up. They put Tuomo Ruutu at center and rolled out three scoring lines, which seemed to work. The top line of Chad LaRose, Eric Staal and Jussi Jokinen combined for six points while the team also received secondary scoring from Patrick Dwyer, Erik Cole and Joni Pitkanen. The Canes will play back-to-back tonight when they face the Los Angeles Kings. Be sure to check out our starting goalies section for the match-ups.