Zach Parise scored a power-play goal 27 seconds into overtime to cap a late Minnesota rally that lifted the Wild to a 2-1 triumph over the Calgary Flames at the XCel Energy Center.
The Wild trailed 1-0 until Jason Zucker found the back of the net with 4:19 remaining in regulation, while Niklas Backstrom stopped 20-of-21 shots to help Minnesota avenge a 3-1 loss to the Flames in Calgary on Saturday.
“You have to do a lot of things to be a winner and find yourself at that point,” said Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo. “There’s teams that have done that year after year and you have to beat them. This is what we’re learning and I think this was a huge step for our club.”
Alex Tanguay potted the lone goal for the Flames, who were seeking their first three-game win streak of the season, with Joey MacDonald coming up with 28 saves in defeat.
MacDonald, who turned back 30 shots in Saturday’s victory over the Wild, was up to the task for the majority of this one as well. The Calgary netminder recorded 20 saves over the first two periods, enabling his team to carry a 1-0 edge deep into the final frame.
“We wasted our best goaltending performance that we have had all year,” said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley. “I feel very sad for Joey MacDonald because he definitely he deserved the first star and more importantly he deserved the win.”
Minnesota finally broke through with just over four minutes left to play courtesy of Zucker. The rookie skated to the net in time to re-direct a centering pass from Devin Setoguchi past MacDonald for his second career NHL marker.
The Wild then took advantage of a delay of game penalty called on Flames defenseman Mark Giordano for covering the puck with 43 seconds remaining in regulation.
On the resulting 4-on-3 in overtime, Parise — who had a goal waved off in the first period — backhanded Mikko Koivu’s feed from the right circle into the net to complete the comeback.
Backstrom did his part as well by making several key saves, including a shorthanded breakaway attempt on Matt Stajan with 15 1/2 minutes left to keep it a one-goal differential. Minnesota’s penalty-killing unit also came up big earlier in the contest by successfully fighting off a five-minute major to Charlie Coyle for elbowing Stajan in the second period.
The Flames did capitalize quickly on their first power-play opportunity to take a 1-0 lead just past the midway stage of the opening period. Michael Cammalleri’s blast from the right point went off Backstrom’s glove, with Tanguay in position to knock the rebound out of the air just seven seconds after Zucker was sent off for a holding call.
Parise appeared to give Minnesota the equalizer with 5:55 left before the initial intermission after slipping a shot under MacDonald’s glove. Giordano was able to prevent the puck from entirely crossing the goal line, however, and the score was reversed upon a video review.
The Wild had another near-miss early in the second period, when Koivu hit the left post on a power-play attempt and the puck carried harmlessly across the crease, and it remained a 1-0 game heading into the third after Calgary failed to convert on its extended chance with the man advantage.