Two goals in the final two minutes, including a game-tying score with 9.8 seconds remaining, forced overtime and later a shootout.
The late rally went for naught as the Canadiens scored the only goal of the shootout for the 5-4 win Thursday at the Bell Centre.
The Wild pulled Josh Harding with two minutes and 13 seconds remaining while being down by two goals.
Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, who was very good all night, tried to shoot the puck up the middle of the ice for the full length goal, but, Dany Heatley intercepted it the blue line. He hit the cross bar on the first shot and followed up to knock the rebound into the net with one minute and 43 seconds remaining.
The Wild (28-26-10) were pressing and putting pressure on the Canadiens, but that play by Price seemed to spark the Wild and rattle the netminder.
Devin Setoguchi tied the game for the first time since the 2:33 mark of the first period with 9.8 seconds remaining when he knocked a loose puck off a pass from Matt Cullen into the net on the backdoor. Cullen swung a pass across the crease that found its way to Setoguchi. For Setoguchi, it was the 100th goal of his career.
The Canadiens (25-30-10) scored the first two goals of the game in the first five minutes that included a five-on-three goal and a goal scored five seconds after the conclusion of a five-on-three advantage.
Matt Kassian scored his first NHL goal late in the first period to cut the deficit in half by going to the net. He got the rally started by knocking a rebound off his own shot past Price to cut a three goal deficit to two with three minutes and 57 seconds remaining.
The Wild allowed seven power play chances to the NHL’s 29th best team with the man advantage.
The Canadiens and its 13.6 power play percent turned those seven opportunities into three goals.
The Wild lost Niklas Backstrom two minutes and 52 seconds into the game with a left leg injury. Mike Yeo did not provide any info on it, but it did not look good. Backstrom was unable to get up or put any pressure on the left leg after stopping a shot.
No. 3 – Matt Kassian. The Wild forward scored his first two career goals.
No. 2 – Max Pacioretty. The Canadiens forward recorded a goal and an assist.
No. 1 – David Desharnais. The Canadiens forward recorded a goal and two assists. He also scored the only shootout goal.
Minnesota 1 0 3 0 – 4
Montreal 2 1 1 0 – 5
First Period – 1, Montreal, Subban 5 (Kaberle, Desharnais), 2:33 (pp). 2, Montreal, Eller 13 (Gomez, Campoli), 4:28 (pp). 3, Minnesota, Kassian 1 (Powe, Johnson), 15:27. Penalties – Veilleux, Min, major (fighting), :10; White, Mon, major (fighting), :10; Ortmeyer, Min, double minor (high sticking), 1:36; Falk, Min (holding), 2:23; Heatley, Min (cross checking), 7:49; Plekanec, Mon (interference), 13:10; Veilleux, Min (slashing), 15:43; Veilleux, Min (slashing), 15:43; White, Mon (instigator), 15:43; White, Mon, major (fighting), 15:43; White, Mon, misconduct (10-minute), 15:43; Nokelainen, Mon (roughing), 19:38.
Second Period – 4, Montreal, Pacioretty 26 (Desharnais, Subban), 11:59 (pp). Penalties – Staubitz, Min (roughing), 1:15; Clutterbuck, Min (tripping), 10:34; Peters, Min (boarding), 12:34; Kaberle, Mon (interference), 13:03.
Third Period – 5, Montreal, Desharnais 15 (Pacioretty, Kaberle), 8:50. 6, Minnesota, Kassian 2 (Johnson, Prosser), 16:07. 7, Minnesota, Heatley 20 (Brodziak), 18:17. 8, Minnesota, Setoguchi 16 (Cullen, Johnson), 19:50. Penalties – Kassian, Min (roughing), 5:50; Geoffrion, Mon (roughing), 5:50; Setoguchi, Min (roughing), 6:52; Weber, Mon (roughing), 6:52; Ortmeyer, Min (holding), 9:27.
Overtime – None. Penalties – None.
Shootout – Minnesota Cullen (saved), Heatley (saved), Setoguchi (missed). Montreal Pacioretty (saved), Desharnais (scored), Bourque (saved).
Shots on goal – Minnesota 7-7-15-1 30. Montreal 9-8-9-2 0.
Goalies – Minnesota, Backstrom (5-6), Harding (19-22). Montreal, Price (26-30). A – N/A. Referees – Marc Joannette, Dave Jackson. Linesmen – Michel Cormier, Pierre Champoux.