ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Until there were less than five minutes left, the most alive Xcel Energy Center came Tuesday night was when the Wild's game operations department flashed on the scoreboard that the Minnesota Gophers upset No. 1-ranked Indiana in hoops eight miles away.
But finally the most snakebit team in the NHL or the most offensively-challenged -- whichever way you look at it -- broke through when rookie Jason Zucker tied the score with 4 minutes, 19 seconds left and Zach Parise won it in overtime, 2-1, over the Calgary Flames.
Mark Giordano, who in the first period robbed Parise of a tying goal by sweeping his shot from the goal line, took a delay of game penalty late in regulation. During the overtime 4-on-3, Mikko Koivu fed Parise down low and he suavely backhanded it home 27 seconds in for his eighth career overtime goal and first with the Wild.
The Wild, which was feeling so good about itself with points in five of six games before the weekend, found a way to get two points.
That's critical in a shortened season where it won't take much for the traffic lights in front to start disappearing in the fog.
The Wild has scored 37 goals in 18 games (2.06 a game). It went 0-for-6 on the power play Tuesday until Parise's winner.
But after surviving a five-minute major in the second period and four-minute penalty late in the third period, the Wild broke Joey MacDonald's shutout big when Zucker drove the net and redirected Devin Setoguchi's shot (meant as a pass) for his second goal of the season.
Setoguchi made the heads-up play when his original shot was blocked by defenseman Mark Giordano and deflected right back to him.
Niklas Backstrom made 20 saves and his third-period stop on Matt Stajan's breakaway proved huge.
Minnesota came out of the gate slow and sloppy even by its own typical slow-start standards. There was no energy, no completed passes and no legs early.