With just a single point separating Minnesota and Colorado in the battle for the second Wild Card spot, every game is vital. Perhaps that was part of John Torchetti’s motivation when he yanked Devan Dubnyk just 17 minutes into Thursday night’s game against New Jersey.
Then again, Dubnyk might have been pulled under far less urgent circumstances after allowing three goals on eight shots. Devils forward Tyler Kennedy outmaneuvered the Wild goaltender within the first minute of the game and while defenseman Marco Scandella attempted to bail out Dubnyk, that sequence eventually led to Devante Smith-Pelly finding the back of the net.
Mike Sislo beat Dubnyk less than a minute later for his first career goal. Nino Niederreiter cut the lead in half, but not too long after that New Jersey’s Reid Boucher capitalized on a rebound that ended the Wild netminder’s night. To be fair to Dubnyk, Darcy Kuemper wasn’t able to stop the Devils’ onslaught either as New Jersey beat him another three times on the first 10 shots Kuemper faced.
This is the second time Dubnyk has been pulled in his last four starts as he only lasted roughly 30 minutes against St. Louis. He stopped just 13 of 16 shots in that outing, though he bounced back in his following game as he limited Montreal to one goal on 31 shots.