It happened in a span of less than seven minutes, sending a chill through Xcel Energy Center that matched the frigid air outdoors. Chicago, the best team in the NHL, took a 2-0 Wild lead and turned it inside out by scoring three consecutive goals. In years past, that might have been enough to knock the Wild off its game. Not on Thursday, when the team was determined to scratch its way out of a slump. “We’ve got a lot of great leaders on this team,’’ defenseman Marco Scandella said. “Everyone stood up and said, ‘You know what? We’re just going to battle. We’re going to keep going.’ ’’ That perseverance was rewarded when Scandella smashed a shot from the blue line that beat Chicago goalie Corey Crawford with 1 minute, 48 seconds remaining, giving the Wild a 4-3 victory. After losing its grip on the lead when Marian Hossa scored at 6:35 of the third period, the Wild dug in and got goals from a pair of unlikely sources — Jonas Brodin and Scandella, who scored his first of the season — to take another step out of its recent doldrums and back toward the high standard it set in November. The Wild erased a number of troubling trends as it improved to 12-3-2 on home ice. It scored in the first period for the first time in six games, taking a 1-0 lead on Matt Cooke’s goal, and it ended a six-game drought on the power play with two goals on three chances. Brodin netted the second with 5:39 left to tie the score, and Scandella’s even-strength goal gave the Wild its first home victory in regulation over Chicago since Oct. 27, 2008. Coach Mike Yeo praised his team for sticking with its system when it could have collapsed. He said it produced “probably 57 of the best minutes we’ve played all year,’’ and the players were gratified that the other three didn’t spoil it.
Late goal gives Wild 4-3 victory over defending champion Blackhawks
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Dec 6