Dubnyk helps Wild blank Flames 1-0
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk is sticking with the same approach he had in Arizona.
What has changed is he’s playing in meaningful hockey games.
Dubnyk stopped 30 shots and Zach Parise scored in the first period, leading the Wild to a big 1-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.
Minnesota (22-20-6) moved within five points of the Flames and the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Wild have picked up five of six possible points so far on a four-game trip that wraps up Sunday in Vancouver.
”It’s fun to play important games,” said Dubnyk, who was acquired in a Jan. 14 trade with the Coyotes. ”I was happy with the way my game was in Arizona so I wanted to really concentrate on sticking with the same things I was doing there that was helping me be successful there.”
It was Dubnyk’s third shutout of the season and No. 11 for his career.
He stepped up in the third when the Flames generated several dangerous chances.
Six minutes into the period, Johnny Gaudreau got around Jared Spurgeon and fired a wrist shot that was headed for the top corner before Dubnyk got it with his glove. With six minutes left, Dubnyk stopped Paul Byron on a breakaway.
Then, as the final couple seconds ticked off the clock, he robbed Mikael Backlund in a scramble at the side of the net.
Calgary was shut out for the first time this season.
”I think we owe a lot to Dubnyk tonight. He bailed us out on a lot of different breakdowns we had. He was really good,” Parise said. ”We’ve got a long ways to go but playing against these guys tonight, like we said this morning, five looks a lot better than nine had we lost this game. It’s a good start to the trip.”
Parise and the Wild made the most of a mistake by Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano in the first.
Giordano’s attempt to send a cross-ice pass from his own corner was knocked down by Thomas Vanek and immediately picked up by Parise all alone in front, who quickly tucked a shot through Jonas Hiller’s pads.
It was Parise’s sixth goal in his last six games and No. 20 on the season.
”Close, man,” Giordano said. ”(Hiller) played awesome. Their guy played awesome. One bad mistake – I made a bad one in the first there – and they get a goal. At the end of the night, that’s the mistake that cost us.”
Hiller finished with 31 stops.
”It was one of those nights – I thought Dubnyk played well and we didn’t get the bounces. It happens,” Hiller said. ”We have to stay positive. I thought we played well. If we play like that every night, we have a chance every night and that’s what we need.”
NOTES: Just called up from Iowa of the AHL, Minnesota D Matt Dumba played in his hometown for the first time in his NHL career. His parents and brother were in attendance. Dumba took the spot of Christian Folin, who along with Erik Haula were healthy scratches. … Byron has gone 28 games without a goal while LW Brandon Bollig has no goals on the season in 41 games.