Wild score 4 goals in final 7 minutes in crazy comeback win
ST. PAUL, Minn.—Jason Zucker's backhand shot with 2:55 remaining in the third period completed a crazy comeback for the Minnesota Wild, who beat the Nashville Predators 6-4 and extended their winning streak to four games.
The Wild trailed 4-2 with seven minutes to play before Jared Spurgeon and Eric Staal scored to tie the game, and Zucker eventually won it. Zucker has eight goals in his last five games.
Spurgeon added an empty net goal from the far blue line with 67 seconds left. Matt Dumba and Nino Niederreiter also scored for Minnesota (9-7-2), which got 26 saves from Devan Dubnyk.
Ryan Johansen scored his first goal of the season and had two assists for Nashville (10-6-2) which saw its five-game winning streak snapped. Viktor Arvidsson, Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm also scored and Pekka Rinne had 30 saves for the Predators, who had not lost since Nov. 1.
The career-best three-game shutout streak by Dubnyk did not survive the first minute, as Johansen banked a low shot off the inside of the goalie's right leg and into the net 49 seconds into the game. It ended his run of not allowing a goal at 195 minutes, 54 seconds.
The Wild killed off a trio of first period power plays only to fall behind 2-0 early in the second when Josi shot through a crowd in front of Dubnyk and found a gap between the goalie's stick and the left post.
Midway through the game Minnesota's struggling power play failed to score, and dug a deeper hole when Ekholm scored shorthanded for a 3-0 Nashville lead.
The Wild finally scored with 3:44 to play in the second via a rocket of a slap shot from the blue line by Dumba. Minnesota appeared to score again 42 seconds later when Niederreiter's third whack at a loose puck in front of Rinne ended up in the net but replay showed the puck went in off Niederreiter's glove and the call on the ice was overturned.
In the final minute of the second, Niederreiter's power play shot beat Rinne on the stick side, and counted, making the score 3-2 after two periods.
An ugly turnover by Niederreiter early in the third led to Arvidsson's goal, which re-established a two-goal lead for Nashville. But Spurgeon's rising slap shot with just under seven minutes to play made it 4-3 and Staal tied it with a power play goal less than two minutes later.
NOTES: The Predators recalled G Anders Lindback from their Milwaukee AHL team and sent Juuse Saros down to Milwaukee. Lindback is the AHL's leading goalie with eight wins this season. He was on the Predators bench backing up Pekka Rinne on Thursday night. ... The Wild nearly had their second friendly fire injury of the season in the second period, when a slap shot by D Ryan Suter hit C Eric Staal in the back of the leg. Staal crumpled to the ice but was able to stay in the game. The Wild lost F Charlie Coyle to a broken leg earlier in the season when he was hit by a slap shot from D Jared Spurgeon. ... Referee Justin St. Pierre worked the game with a large white bandage covering most of his right hand.