The Minnesota Wild dominated the play for the majority of the game and overtime, but Sergei Bobrovsky stole two points for the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 3-2 shootout win Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild held a 41-22 shots on goal advantage, but a 10 minute stretch to start the second period was all the Blue Jackets needed to score their two regulation goals.
"A couple lapses cost us a couple goals," Devin Setoguchi said. "There's no lack of excuses why we can't put some in. Give Bobrovsky some credit. That is a goalie stealing a game."
The Wild (22-16-3) did most of their damage in the opening period when it got 15 shots on goal while attempting 19. Bobrovsky stopped 14 of those shots, most of which came from point blank range.
"(Bobrovsky's) had a good run," Jason Pominville said. "He made some big saves early. It falls on us to put one through. As good as he is, we are the ones shooting and have to find ways."
The Blue Jackets (19-16-7) held a 2-1 lead late into the third period until Pominville knocked a rebound from a shot by Ryan Suter past Bobrovsky with three minutes and 15 seconds remaining in the third period.
The Wild were unable to get another past the Russian netminder as the game went into a shootout.
"The confidence he has given our team," Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards said. "We are going into (our next game) expecting to win. It's those types of things that are immeasurable to your team."
The Wild were put at a disadvantage just 17 seconds into the game when Charlie Coyle was assessed a match penalty for targeting the head.
"To me he targeted his head," Richards said. "Our guy is going to be on the shelf for a little bit now. That hit really affects our team in a big way, because you taking a big center man out of our lineup. I saw it the way the referees did. I can't imagine why they would see it differently."
If Richards hasn't seen the replay, he may change his opinion after seeing it and agree with Wild head coach Mike Yeo. Anisimov and Coyle both initiated the contact shoulder-to-shoulder. Anisimov lost his balance and most likely was injured when his head hit the ice, not on the hit itself.
"It was a clean hit," Mike Yeo said.
The Wild were able to battle through and control the better part of the play for most of the night, despite having just 11 forwards and creative line juggling the rest of the game.
"It's always tough when you have 11 forwards out there," Setoguchi said. "Everyone played a pretty solid game tonight, with the exception of 10 minutes there."
As badly as the Wild out played the Blue Jackets, the Wild seemingly had a problem passing through defenders, especially during the first 10 minutes of the second period.
"That's just us getting away from our game," Setoguchi said. "For some reason we kept trying to go up the middle of the ice. They came over the top and middle wasn't open. We have to push the pace and go north. We weren't making strong plays as a result we got tired guys stuck on the ice and give up a couple goals."
The Wild remain in the Western Conference's top eight, but the lead over the ninth and 10th place team has shrunk to two points.
No. 3 – Vinny Prospal. The Blue Jackets forward scored a goal and added an assist.
No. 2 – Jason Pominville. The Wild forward scored a goal.
No. 1 – Sergei Bobrovsky. The Blue Jackets goaltender stopped 39 shots
Columbus…..0 2 0 0 – 3
Minnesota…..1 0 1 0 – 2
First Period – 1, Minnesota, Bouchard 5 (Clark, Pominville), 15:59. Penalties – Dubinsky, CBJ, major, (fighting), :17; Dubinsky, CBJ, misconduct, (10-minute), :17; Dubinsky, CBJ (instigating; served by Prospal), :17; Coyle, Min, match, (contact to head; served by Zucker), :17; Coyle, Min, major, (fighting), :17; Aucoin, CBJ (hooking), 8:59; Boll, CBJ, major, (fighting), 14:17; Stoner, Min, major, (fighting), 14:17.
Second Period – 2, Columbus, Prospal 11 (Dubinsky, Prout), 3:53. 3, Columbus, Tyutin 3 (Prospal, Dubinsky), 6:18. Penalties – Wisniewski, CBJ (elbowing), 11:20; Bench, Min (too many men; served by Bouchard), 19:21.
Third Period – 4, Minnesota, Pominville 12 (Parise, Suter), 16:45 (pp). Penalties – Bench, CBJ (too many men; served by Foligno), 9:32; Prout, CBJ (cross checking), 16:01.
Overtime – None. Penalties – None.
Shootout – Columbus Letestu (goal), Atkinson (goal). Minnesota Parise (save), Koivu (save).
Shots on goal – Columbus 6-8-6-2 0. Minnesota 15-10-14-2 0.
Penalty Shots - Player, team, time and period (penalty).
Goalies – Columbus, Bobrovsky (39-41). Minnesota, Backstrom (20-22). A – 19,187. Referees – Brad Watson, Frederick L'Ecuyer. Linesmen – Brian Mach, Mike Cvik.