Page last updated on Wed Jan 28 15:13:04 EST 2015
02/17/2013 9:35 PM EST
Zucker's scores as Wild rally to beat Red Wings
MINNESOTA 3, DETROIT 2
By ADAM CZECH
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild have had to work a bit
harder to generate any offense this season. That's what made
Jason Zucker zooming past everybody for a highlight-reel goal
such a welcome sight.
Dany Heatley, Zucker and Torrey Mitchell all scored in the
second period to rally Minnesota over the Detroit Red Wings 3-2
on Sunday night.
It was Minnesota's first regulation win since Jan. 29 and just
the second time it scored at least three goals in regulation
over the last nine games.
"It's big. I'm not going to sit here and say this makes our
season," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "We've still got a lot of
work to do and we're focused on continuing to get better as a
group. But this is huge."
Damien Brunner and Pavel Datsyuk scored for Detroit, which has
lost three straight for the first time since March 10-21 of last
"You have to win and get points in this league, otherwise you
lose sight of things in a hurry," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock
said. "Right now, we're taking on water."
After Heatley snapped a nine-game scoring drought to make it
2-1, Zucker went coast-to-coast and scored his first NHL goal to
Zucker was called up on Saturday to try and spark the Wild's
offense. The 2010 second-round pick showed off his speed and
made a slick move on Valtteri Flippula to break free and score
"For me, I skate fast and I try to get the puck on net," Zucker
said. "That's what I do."
Asked about his shoot-first mentality, Zucker smiled and said:
"I'm not exactly a passer. I'm trying to get the puck on net and
limit my passing."
Mitchell scored his first goal in a Wild uniform off a faceoff
scrum to give Minnesota the lead 30 seconds later.
Several Minnesota players are sick, but Zucker's pure speed and
the play of backup goalie Darcy Kuemper made the Wild feel
Kuemper found out he was starting five minutes before the game
due to regular goalie Niklas Backstrom being sick. After
stopping 28 of 30 shots in his debut Tuesday, a 2-1 loss at
Vancouver, Kuemper made 29 saves on Sunday.
Despite allowing 14 shots and hearing boos from the home crowd,
the Wild only trailed 1-0 after the first period.
Brunner whacked the puck past Kuemper to give Detroit the lead
at 8:48. Ryan Suter couldn't clear the bouncing puck and Brunner
"I knew I didn't get much of a warm-up so they got one quick
there and I just tried to ease myself in the game," Kuemper
said. "I just tried to continue to prepare myself and give our
team a chance."
Datsyuk, back after missing a game with a shoulder injury, beat
the rookie with a wrist shot from outside the left circle 20
seconds into the second.
Then the Wild woke up and scored three times on rookie goalie
Petr Mrazek in a span of 4:10 to take a 3-2 lead.
"I don't know what happened in the locker room between periods,
but we made some mistakes right from the start," Detroit coach
Mike Babcock said. "We never generated much after that."
It wasn't just the Wild's offense that got rolling in the second
period. Thanks to a diving save by Kuemper early and strong
defense throughout, Minnesota killed a four-minute high-sticking
penalty to close the second.
"We had a few chances. One of those has to go in," said Detroit
captain Henrik Zetterberg. "If it does, this would be a
Besides the stretch in the second, Mrazek was solid, stopping 24
The Red Wings are now 8-2-2 in their last 12 games against
Notes: Minnesota's Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Justin Falk missed
the game due to illness. Zenon Konopka was a healthy scratch.
... Zetterberg had two assists and has 20 points in his last 14
games. ... Zucker led AHL Houston with 19 goals and 41 assists.
... Mikael Samuelsson returned from a groin injury and played in
his third game of the season for Detroit.
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