Another slow start leads to another loss for the Minnesota Wild.
The Wild caught the Pittsburgh Penguins at the right time Tuesday at the Xcel Energy Center.
No Sidney Crosby. No Evgeni Malkin. No Brooks Orpik. No Kris Letang. No Tyler Kennedy. Marc-Andre Fleury was given the night off.
That’s three top-six forwards, two top defensemen and its starting goaltender. Yet, the Wild (2-2-2) still could not find a way to win.
“Not happy with that game,” Wild head coach Mike Yeo said. “What I want to see is an understanding of us that we have to start the game a certain way. If a team's going to come into our building, they should know they're going to be playing against the Minnesota Wild. And it should not be a lot of fun.
"I don't think that we made Pittsburgh feel that way in the first period."
The power play has been a problem for the Wild as it concluded a three-game home stand without scoring a goal with the man advantage in 10 tries, including five against the Penguins.
“We need have less focus on ‘I’m going to be the guy to make a play.’ We are not tough to defend.” Yeo said. “We talked before the game that we have to bring momentum from special teams.”
"I didn't feel like we had any momentum or jump or life to our game at that time," Yeo said. "Was just looking for a spark. Didn't work."
No. 3 – Guillaume Latendresse. The Minnesota forward scored a goal and had several opportunities for more.
No. 2 – Pascal Dupuis. The Pittsburgh forward recorded a goal and an assist.
No. 1 – Brent Johnson. The Pittsburgh goaltender did not make any spectacular saves, but did everything he could to win the game.
Penguins 0 2 2 – 4
Wild 0 1 1 – 2
First Period – None. Penalties – Niskanen, Pitt (hooking), 3:02; Dupuis, Pitt (holding), 12:07.
Second Period – 1, Pittsburgh, Kunitz 1 (Dupuis), :46. 2, Pittsburgh, Staal 3 (Cooke, Michalek), 7:14 (pp). 3, Minnesota, Clutterbuck 2 (Koivu), 8:07 (SH). Penalties – Neal, Pitt (hooking), 1:50; Staubitz, Min, double minor (high-sticking), 5:15; Niskanen, Pitt (holding), 17:26.
Third Period – 4, Pittsburgh, Neal 6 (unassisted), 3:38. 5, Pittsburgh, Dupuis 2 (Cooke), 12:21 (SH). 6, Minnesota, Latendresse 1 (Cullen, Bulmer), 13:12.
Shots on goal – Pittsburgh 9-8-8 25. Minnesota 6-10-10 26.
Goalies – Penguins, Johnson (24-26). Wild, Backstrom (21-25). A – 17,297. Referees – Gord Dwyer, Steve Kozari. Linesmen – Greg Devorski, Dan Schachte.