DENVER, CO - MARCH 26:  Goalie Devan Dubnyk #40 of the Minnesota Wild defends he goal as he had 29 saves and a shut out against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on March 26, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Wild defeated the Avalanche 4-0.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Another shutout for Dubnyk as Wild win eighth in a row

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The Columbus Blue Jackets are not the only team in the NHL stacking wins together at the moment.

Thanks to their 2-0 win over the stunningly bad Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night, the Minnesota Wild were able to extend their current winning streak to eight games thanks to goals from Charlie Coyle and Mikko Koivu.

The win improved the Wild to 19-8-4 on the season and thanks to Chicago’s loss to Ottawa helped close the gap to six points in the NHL’s central division with still four games in hand.

But the other big story for the Wild on Tuesday was the fact starting goaltender Devan Dubnyk was able to keep another team off the scoreboard, recording his league leading fifth shutout of the season.

He only had to face 18 shots on Tuesday against an Avalanche team that just didn’t seem to be in the game at all, but Dubnyk’s play this season in general has been phenomenal.

Tuesday’s game raised his save percentage on the season to .948 in 25 starts.

No other goalie in the league with at least 20 starts this season is above .936.

Ever since he arrived in Minnesota in the middle of the the 2014-15 season Dubnyk has been one of the better goalies in the league with a .930 save percentage and now 15 shutouts in 131 starts. That is a shutout every eight starts. Carey Price is second in the league over that stretch with only 11 shutouts, though to be fair, he has done that in only 67 starts.

Still, the point here is this: Dubnyk has been an amazing find for the Wild (they only gave up a third-round pick to get him from the Arizona Coyotes) and has completely solidified their goaltending position. He now has them in a pretty good position in the Western Conference.

For his as good as he has been over the past two years with the Wild, his performance this season has gone to an entirely new level and has to have him in the conversation for the Vezina Trophy.

The Wild are the top team in the league in goals against and have only given up 10 during their current winning streak, giving up more than one goal just three times and never more than two.

Talk about a Wild comeback for Minnesota

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The Minnesota Wild took back sole possession of the lead in the Central Division, thanks to a thrilling comeback win over the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.

Minnesota trailed 3-1 early in the second period. Jason Zucker closed the deficit in the middle period, before they took the lead for good thanks to a frenzy of three goals from Erik Haula, Ryan Suter and Zucker in 1:59 late in regulation for a 5-3 victory.

“When we came in in between the second and third, knowing we were only down a goal, and knowing our history, we didn’t think we were out of it,” said coach Bruce Boudreau, per the Pioneer Press.

And so the Wild remain one of the hottest teams in the league, leading Chicago by two points.

While it’s a comeback for them, the Ducks don’t quite see it the same way.

“It’s not what they did, to be honest. We self-imploded. Gave up too many opportunities, left our goalie out to dry,” said Cam Fowler.

Additional bad news for the Ducks, however, was that goalie John Gibson left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury, and didn’t return.

 

Bust a move: Capitals win includes unlikely OT hero and dad’s dancing in Dallas

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The usual suspects contributed for the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Down a pair of goals entering the third period, Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie helped ignite the comeback on the power play.

But then an unlikely hero emerged.

Jay Beagle scored his 10th goal of the season and the overtime winner to give Washington a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. That aforementioned goal total matches his previous career high from two seasons ago.

He initially accomplished the feat over the course of 62 games. This time, he hits 10 goals in 46 games played.

Officials needed to review the play, although replays quickly showed the puck over the line from the Beagle shot in the slot.

The comeback win led to a memorable post-game celebration.

Disclaimer: Don’t try this at home.

The Capitals maintain their lead in the Metropolitan Division ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This game versus the Stars included some feisty moments, particularly in the first period when tempers boiled over. Tom Wilson and Brett Ritchie dropped the gloves for a lengthy fight. Three seconds later, Daniel Winnik fought Antoine Roussel.

Ducks goalie Gibson leaves game versus Wild with upper-body injury

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 01:  Goaltender John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks in action during the preseason NHL game against Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on October 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Anaheim goaltender John Gibson has left Saturday’s game against Minnesota with an upper-body injury.

A short-angle shot from Mikko Koivu appeared to hit Gibson in the upper chest with 5:39 to play in the first period. The goaltender immediately went down on one knee and was quickly attended to by a trainer. Gibson gingerly skated to the bench and went straight to the locker room.

Anaheim announced that Gibson is doubtful to return.

Gibson is 7-1-1 with two shutouts in his past nine starts. He was replaced by Jonathan Bernier.

Gibson stopped four of five shots he faced while making his fourth straight start.

Playoff hopes take a jolt: Coyotes crush Bishop and the Bolts

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Ben Bishop #30 of the Tampa Bay Lightning tends net against the New York Islanders during the second period at the Barclays Center on November 1, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Of the surprises in the NHL so far this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning has to be right up there on the list.

In 2015, they went to the Stanley Cup Final. The future had looked bright, but this signified the Bolts’ arrival into the top tier of teams in the league. Last season, they made it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final and lost to the eventual champions from Pittsburgh. That was a playoff run that did not include Steven Stamkos until the deciding game of the East final.

This year? The Bolts are currently not in a playoff position. They’ve had issues defensively. They’ve had issues on offense. They’ve had issues with goaltending. They’ve dealt with injuries or illness to key players like Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, and other important members of their lineup.

Looking to gain ground in the playoff chase, the Bolts had what looked to be the perfect opponent to mend their troubles — at least for one game. On Saturday, Tampa Bay faced the Arizona Coyotes, losers of four in a row and sitting above only Colorado in the Western Conference standings.

The perfect remedy, right?

Wrong. So wrong.

The Bolts lost 5-3, mostly because of a disastrous opening two periods. Ben Bishop started and was pulled after 40 minutes, allowing five goals on 17 shots.

Down a goal after the first period, things went south for the Bolts in the middle period. The Coyotes — one of only two teams in the entire league still stuck under 100 goals-for entering this game — beat Bishop for three goals on just nine shots in the second.

The Bolts are dead last in the Atlantic Division, five points back of third-place Boston. They are four points back of Toronto for the final wild card spot, but there are seven teams ahead of Tampa Bay in that race.

There is still lots of time left in the season. But the Bolts had stressed the importance and urgency needed on this current six-game road trip, and they haven’t delivered.

A loss to the Coyotes would certainly seem like rock bottom.