COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau spelled out the issue to his players.
He wrote the statistics that illustrated his team's woes on the road on the white board for all to absorb, a tactic that underscores just how glaring these struggles have become -- especially in comparison to the success that's rolled in at home.
And the review session seemed to be just the jolt the Wild needed to improve, as the team returned from the All-Star break to corral a 3-2 shootout win over the Blue Jackets on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena to secure just their second road win in its last seven tries.
Wingers Zach Parise and Chris Stewart capitalized one-on-one against goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, with Parise delivering the deciding goal in the fourth round. Bobrovsky, who faced a season-high 43 shots from the Wild, racked up 41 saves.
The Wild were in rally mode almost from the get-go, as the Blue Jackets scored just 1:16 after puck drop.
A David Savard shot wove through traffic and behind goalie Devan Dubnyk for the early Columbus lead after the Wild failed to clear the zone on a number of occasions.
Columbus came close to going up 2-0 of another Savard goal, but video replay determined Savard kicked the puck into the net at 12:19. Although the Wild had no production to show for their efforts in the period, they certainly had chances.
Same can be said for the second period.
Momentum seemed to flip near the outset of the second after a strong shift by center Eric Staal's line.
Soon after, winger Marcus Foligno drew a hooking penalty and on the ensuing power play, the Wild found the equalizer. Winger Jason Zucker fed a wide-open Jonas Brodin and while Brodin's shot was stopped, Zucker was able to poke in the loose puck at 4:25 for his 20th goal of the season -- which is tied for the team lead. The tally also extended Zucker's point streak to a season-high seven games.
The Wild continued to pour on the pressure, boasting 26 shots on the net near the midway point. It ended up with 20 in the entire period, and the last one nearly snuck in before time expired.
With the scoreboard approaching zeros, winger Tyler Ennis wound up off the rush and his shot crossed the goal line just after the clock switched from 0.1 to 0.0.
In the third, the Blue Jackets almost moved ahead on the power play when one of their shots rang off the post. But when Chris Stewart, who was serving the slashing penalty, returned to the ice, he skated up ice with winger Charlie Coyle for a two-on-one break and Coyle kept the shot -- wiring the puck by Bobrovsky for his first goal in nine games at 12:10.
Columbus would get another crack at the power play, and this time it converted -- on a seeing-eye shot from winger Artemi Panarin 2:38 later. The Wild challenged the goal to determine if Dubnyk was interfered with, but the goal stood.
The Blue Jackets' power play finished the game 1-for-3, while the Wild was 1-for-2.
Both teams traded chances in overtime, but neither was able to execute -- setting up the shootout.
Dubnyk, who totaled 28 saves, stopped three of Columbus' four shooters, with Panarim the only one to score. As for the Wild, Coyle and captain Koivu missed after Stewart's goal, paving the way for Parise's clincher.
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