Wild miss the point; playoff gap closes with shootout loss - KMSP-TV

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Wild miss the point; playoff gap closes with shootout loss

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In the biggest week of the season, the Wild stumbled with a 1-0 loss to Chicago, and then followed that up with a 2-0 loss to St. Louis, both at home. Not exactly the way a team looking for points to secure a playoff trip is supposed to be playing. It didn't get much better against Columbus in their 3-2 loss in a shootout to close out their three game home stand.

After their loss to St. Louis where change was in the air, Mike Yeo moved newly acquired Jason Pominville to the second line and put Charlie Coyle back on the top line. The hope of momentum lasted a whole 17 seconds. Coyle received a match penalty on a clean hit on Artem Anisimov. The hit sent a message to both Columbus and the Wild that the team were bringing a physical brand of hockey. Immediately after the hit as Anisimov lay on the ice, Brandon Dubinsky dropped his gloves and went after Coyle. The officials gave Coyle the gate for a hit to the head after no penalty was signaled during the intial hit. Dubinsky picked up a minor for instigating which cut the five minute major penalty down to three minutes. The Wild killed the penalty but with much of Coyle's family in the stands, he hit the showers early.

The Wild seem to play against a hot goalie and Sergei Bobrovsky was no exception. Bobrovsky made 39 saves and continued to frustrate the Wild who hadn't scored in 137:24. The Wild took the lead in late in the first period when Jack Johnson had the puck go off his stick right into his own net. Not pretty, but at without any scoring on the home stand you take what you can get. All told, the Wild outshot Columbus 15-6 and had the better of the scoring chances 10-0.

The Wild came out completely flat in the first six minutes of the second period and they gave up a pair of goals, the second which was a bad goal allowed by Niklas Backstrom that gave the Bluejackets the 2-1 lead and complete control of the game.

After going 0-for-3 on the powerplay, Jason Pominville tied the game with 3:15 left in the third period to force overtime. The Blue Jackets picked up the extra point after a scoreless overtime and Columbus picked up a pair of shootout goals grabbing the extra point as they fight for a playoff spot.

In seven games, the top line continues to struggle. Both Zach Parise and Miko Koivu have yet to score in seven games in April. With seven games to play, the Wild hold the seventh spot in the Western Conference with 47 points, two points out of fifth, but just two points ahead of Dallas, Detroit and Columbus.

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