Jason Zucker scores twice, Wild return home with a win over Jets

Sarah McLellan, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Hockey

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Wild banked three wins out of a possible four during their recent road trip despite little to no production from some of their offensive leaders.

But the likes of Jason Zucker and Eric Staal resurfaced Thursday to ensure the team didn't sag in its return home, leading the Wild to a 3-2 win over the Jets in front of 19,072 at Xcel Energy Center -- the group's fourth victory in its last five and fifth over the past seven.

Zucker scored twice, including the game-winner, to snap a seven-game slide, while Staal set up the other -- more than enough offense to go along with a 26-save showing from goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who has been almost unbeatable of late.

Over his last six games, Dubnyk is 5-1 and has stopped 175 of the 187 shots he's faced for an impressive .936 save percentage.

He was air-tight against Winnipeg while the Wild assembled a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

Only 5 minutes, 40 seconds into the first period, Staal fed winger Jordan Greenway for a shot that trickled through Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck -- a redemption play for Greenway, who had an attempt blocked after accepting a pass from Staal earlier in the frame.

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It was the fourth time this season Greenway has opened the scoring, tops among NHL rookies, and Greenway has two tallies in his last four games.

The assist was just Staal's second point over the last seven games, a span that includes no goals, but his chemistry with Greenway was a bright spot, as Staal ended up with three shots on net.

Special-teams play stoked the Wild's edge in the second.

Captain Mikko Koivu fed Zucker for a redirect in front on the power play at 11:04, just the Wild's second score with the man advantage in their last 25 tries. Overall, the unit finished 1-for-2 against the Jets.


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