What the Wild needed Friday night, they got.
Hampered by numerous injuries and 24 hours after losing to the Los Angeles Kings, the Wild got a goal from Pierre-Marc Bouchard with 6.3 seconds remaining in overtime to topple the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in front of 13,617 at the Honda Center.
The victory gave the Wild 72 points and moved them into a tie for fifth place with Los Angeles in the Western Conference. Six other teams are within four points.
Bouchard's goal, coming on a breakaway pass from Brent Burns as time was running out, decided a game that featured Wild goaltender Jose Theodore posting 46 saves, defenseman Clayton Stoner notching the first normal goal of his NHL career and center John Madden moving up to the second line and threading his ninth goal of the season.
"The guys both nights on the West Coast here battled their butts off," Stoner said. "Theodore comes in and stands on his head; it just goes to show what a great, veteran goaltender he is."
Most important was that Minnesota, which led the Ducks by two points going into the game, turned things around immediately after losing to the Los Angeles Kings the night before.
"Good teams find a way not to lose multiple games in a row," Stoner said.
Madden, who gave the Wild the lead in the first period, agreed with Stoner's assessment about getting a win before the losses mounted.
"You can't lose two in a row," he said. "That's the biggest key in keeping pace and getting as many games over .500 as you can; it really helps out at the end of the year."
The Wild have presented a mostly inoffensive façade since the injury to captain Mikko Koivu.
They had seven goals in three games going into Friday night's game, and four of those were scored against the lowly Edmonton Oilers before center Kyle Brodziak also left the lineup because of illness.
Madden's first-period goal and Stoner's in the third, coupled with Theodore's stellar goaltending, were enough to get the game to overtime, where Bouchard's breakaway goal decided it.
"I was hanging out around the red line," Bouchard said, "and luckily I got that puck and was able to score on the breakaway."
Wild use great defense, goaltending to get to Bouchard's goal in OT
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Feb 26