Minnesota Wild

Jets end Wild winning streak at six games

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The Minnesota Wild, riding quite a hot streak recently, had their winning streak snapped at six games on Tuesday. They do, however, pick up 13 of a possible 14 points in their last seven games.

Not bad at all, considering all their struggles in January.

The Wild fell by a final score of 2-1 in overtime to the Winnipeg Jets, who are also in a battle for a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.

Despite the OT loss, the Wild got another solid performance from goalie Devan Dubnyk, who made 32 saves only to be beaten by Dustin Byfuglien cutting down the right wing in the extra period.

Dubnyk, acquired from Arizona earlier this season, has been a key figure in Minnesota’s recent run of success, giving the Wild a stable presence in net that had long been absent this season.

The Wild is now two points back of the Vancouver Canucks for that final Wild Card spot.

“That was a team that knew they were going to pounce on us given the fact that we had played [Monday],” Wild head coach Mike Yeo told NHL.com. “We weathered the storm a little bit, but you don’t do that unless you have great goaltending, and [Dubnyk] gave us that.”

Wild lose 2nd-leading goalscorer Zucker (broken collarbone) for three months

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The Minnesota Wild received some tough injury news on Tuesday, as the club announced Jason Zucker would be sidelined for three months with a broken collarbone.

Zucker, who sits second to Zach Parise on the team in goals (18 to Parise’s 21), was hurt during Monday’s 5-3 win over the Canucks. This marks his second major injury in as many years; last season, he required tendon surgery on his right quadriceps that prematurely his the campaign.

Zucker’s offense will be missed. The Wild are a mediocre goalscoring team to begin with — currently ranked 17th in the NHL in goals for — and he’s the club’s top sniper at even strength. All but one of his goals have come at evens this season, putting him in a tie for 10th-most in the NHL.

(Video) PHT Extra: The Dubnyk Redemption

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Remember when Devan Dubnyk was in Edmonton and having “probably the worst start to a year that I could have imagined”?

And remember when the Minnesota Wild were saying stuff like, “I don’t know what the heck is going on, but every day’s a bad day right now”?

Ah, sports.

Canucks’ Miller acknowledges ‘feast or famine’ season

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It’s been an up and down season for the Vancouver Canucks, and that seems especially true for Ryan Miller.

The last two games might depict that contrast most succinctly: after shutting out the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, Miller was pulled midway through Monday’s loss to the Minnesota Wild after allowing five goals on 18 shots.

The 34-year-old seemed perplexed by his erratic work in discussing it with the Vancouver Province.

“There are no real adjustments — just stay the course and take what you can out of it,” Miller said. “My read on the third goal (Nino Niederreiter slot slapper off cross-ice feed) could have been better and he got it up. I don’t know. That’s hockey. Feast or famine I guess — four hooks and six shutouts. Who knows?”

Most goalies probably see some pretty dramatic differences in their stats in wins versus losses, yet the disparity is still pretty striking with Miller.

In 25 wins, he has those six shutouts, a 1.47 GAA and a .947 save percentage. In 15 defeats, his GAA balloons to 4.40 and his save percentage plummets to .849.

On face value, his stats are about par for the course for his career (25-14-1 record, 2.45 GAA, and a .913 save percentage that’s just short of his .915 career average).

At his age, it’s not likely that he’ll make drastic changes. He’s just going to need to hope for better results from himself and his team going forward.

Wild’s winning streak reaches six games after defeating the Canucks

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Around this time last month, the Minnesota Wild was in a free fall. Seems like a distant memory right now.

The Wild defeated the Vancouver Canucks by a final score of 5-3 on Monday, taking advantage of some sloppy defensive lapses from the Pacific Division visitors and forcing Ryan Miller from the net, for the team’s sixth straight victory, and eighth in its last 10 games.

Suddenly, the playoffs seem possible.

The Wild moved to 58 points, which put it three back of the Calgary Flames for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, with the Flames also in action Monday.

Behind Minnesota’s recent success is goalie Devan Dubnyk, who has started in each of the Wild’s last six wins. He has three shutouts in that span, although he was beaten three times by the Canucks, who had 25 shots on goal.

Wild forwards Jason Zucker and Ryan Carter left the game in the first period, both upper-body injuries, said head coach Mike Yeo, as per Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“We should not expect them back in the lineup in the near future,” said Yeo.

After a solid shutout victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, the Canucks got to within a goal early in the second period, but then coughed up two goals in 54 seconds as the Wild increased its lead to three.

“It’s frustrating. To make the playoffs you have to string wins together and we have to find a way to do that,” said Canucks forward Zack Kassian, who scored for the second time in as many games.

Canucks center Nick Bonino left the game after blocking a shot in the second period.

That could leave the Canucks in a pinch, especially up the middle, with Brad Richardson out with a foot injury.