For Wild, 'getting through overtime is a win'

Sarah Mclellan, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Hockey

MINNEAPOLIS -- A scoreless overtime didn't just pave the way for an appropriate addendum to Mikko Koivu's 1,000th game, which was decided Sunday when the Wild captain buried the decisive goal in the shootout to finalize a 3-2 win over the Stars at Xcel Energy Center.

The five-minute stalemate was also the best the Wild has looked in an extra session this season.

And considering how maligned its play in that scenario has been -- in the present and past -- this progress emerged as one of the latest positives during the Wild's recent run that will see the team open a three-game road trip Tuesday in Sunrise, Florida against the Panthers on a season-high nine-game point streak (6-0-3).

"At this point," winger Zach Parise said, "maybe getting through overtime is a win for us."

Surviving to the shootout wasn't happenstance.

After the Wild was burned just 32 seconds into the additional period Nov. 25 on the Rangers' first shot to fall 3-2, a result that dropped it 0-4 this season in overtime and 12-32 all-time since the 3-on-3 format was implemented ahead of 2015-16, the team focused on the situation.


"We're paying a little more attention to it because the guys were getting a little fed up with what was going on with it," coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Following the loss in New York, the Wild held a video session and practiced the setup after it returned from that road trip. The topic has also been discussed in its morning meetings.

"We've looked at clips," goalie Alex Stalock. "We've really broken it down and said, 'This is not an area where we play this style. This is not an area where we do this.' And I think it worked."

Plenty was different when the Wild matched up with Dallas.


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