NHL Game Summary - Detroit at Minnesota
(Saturday, February 21st)
Final Score: Minnesota 5, Detroit 2
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Owen Nolan had two goals and an assist, as the Minnesota Wild handled the Detroit Red Wings, 5-2, at the XCel Energy Center.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Martin Skoula, and Stephane Veilleux scored for the Wild, who bounced back from a three-game losing streak. Bouchard also tallied an assist. Niklas Backstrom stopped 35 shots for the victory.
"We surprised them a bit in the first. I think we held on and did a good job defensively," said Skoula.
Ville Leino and Tomas Kopecky tallied for the Red Wings, who dropped to 8-2-1 this month. James Howard turned away 24 shots for the loss.
"The only pressure I had was the pressure I put on myself to perform out there," said Howard. "It didn't really play out the way I had it in my mind."
Nolan scored twice in the first stanza to jump start Minnesota. Just 2:50 into the game, Nolan notched his 16th goal of the year on a pass from Bouchard. Nolan's shot from the right circle found the back of the net.
At the 8:15 mark, Nolan gave the home team a two-score cushion. He maneuvered around the net before his backhanded shot slid under the pads of Howard during a Wild power play.
After Kopecky lit the lamp just 2:55 into the second stanza to cut the gap to 2-1, the Wild took control of the game late in the frame. Bouchard scored with 2:47 to go and Skoula tallied with only 1:16 left to give Minnesota a 4-1 lead heading into the final period.
Leino scored with 5:15 to go to cut the gap to 4-2. The Red Wings pulled Howard late in the game for an extra attacker. Detroit fired multiple shots at Backstrom, but he held strong to preserve the win.
Veilleux added an empty-net goal with 1.8 ticks remaining.
The teams combined to go 1-of-8 on the power play...Detroit has won six of eight and 10 of the last 13 matchups between these teams and is 7-2 with a tie over its last nine visits to the XCel Energy Center...Red Wings defender Brett Lebda missed his fifth straight game with a bad back. He is listed as day-to- day...Minnesota RW Craig Weller returned after missing 13 games with a head injury...Nolan has 37 points in 48 career games against Detroit...Minnesota forward Andrew Brunette missed Saturday's game because of a lower-body injury, ending his games played streak at 509 -- the longest active games streak in the NHL. Brunette hadn't not played since December 31, 2001.
02/22 00:47:39 ET