Dubnyk, Wild blank sputtering Blackhawks 3-0
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Devan Dubnyk made sure the Minnesota Wild didn’t let another three-goal lead slip away, especially not with a chance to keep the rival Chicago Blackhawks reeling.
Dubnyk made a season-high 44 saves, Charlie Coyle scored twice and the Wild beat the Blackhawks 3-0 on Saturday night. Mikko Koivu also scored in the first period for Minnesota, which is 9-0-3 in its last 12 home games. It was Dubnyk’s fourth shutout of the season and No. 28 for his career.
On Thursday night, the Wild gave up a 3-0 lead to Arizona and lost 4-3 in overtime.
”It’s funny we end up 3-0 again,” Dubnyk said. ”So, couldn’t have written it any better to give ourselves a chance at a do-over, and we did that.”
Jeff Glass made 16 saves for the last-place Blackhawks, who have lost five straight and nine of their past 11.
”It’s an environment that we’re not accustomed to and we’re trying to remain positive, looking forward to competing the right way and giving yourself a chance to play with a purpose in a team-structured game,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. ”That’s where we’re at and I think that’s what we’re dealing with. Find a way to make a contribution in the right way.”
The Wild bounced back nicely from that loss to the Coyotes, with Dubnyk playing a key role as Chicago outshot Minnesota 44-19, including 15-7 in the third period.
”I thought Devan was really good,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. ”He had to make some really good saves. They shoot the puck from everywhere. Just turn around and throw it at the net. But he was really good. This was like he played the first half of last year today. That’s what it reminded me of anyway.”
Coyle had four goals in his first 33 games of the season. But he has found his scoring touch while playing on the third line with Zach Parise and Matt Cullen, picking up four goals in his past six games.
He started the scoring at 1:58 of the first when he banked in a shot off Glass from behind the net. Koivu made it 2-0 at 6:31 when he deflected a power-play shot from Matt Dumba from the right circle.
”We were playing down low and trying to win battles and controlling the puck and it paid off for us right away to kind of get us going a little bit,” Coyle said. ”That definitely gave us confidence and we just kind of fed off of that and tried to keep it going.”
Coyle scored again on the rush in the second, giving him his first multi-goal game of the season.
Chicago was shut out for the first time since Nov. 4 at Minnesota and the third time overall this season.
The Wild improved to 11-4-1 in their last 16 regular-season meetings with the Blackhawks.
Stopping pucks has been more of an issue for the Blackhawks than scoring. Since star goaltender Corey Crawford went down with an upper-body injury in December, Chicago has allowed the sixth-most goals in the league and is 7-10-3 during that stretch.
”Well it’s surely getting smaller, we know that,” Toews said of the window to make the playoffs. ”We’re well aware of the situation. As we said all along, we got to focus on your job and that’s what we’re going to keep doing.”
NOTES: Minnesota had its biggest crowd of the season with an announced attendance of 19,227. … Chicago D Carl Dahlstrom made his NHL debut. Dahlstrom, a second-round draft pick by the Blackhawks in 2013, had 23 points in 47 games for Rockford of the AHL. … Chicago F Patrick Sharp was scratched for the fifth time in seven games. Sharp has just six goals and seven assists in 47 games this season. … Wild D Viktor Loov was scratched a day after being recalled from the AHL and two days after being acquired in a trade from the New Jersey Devils.
Blackhawks: Play at Arizona on Monday.
Wild: Host the New York Rangers on Tuesday.