Wild’s Vanek, Dubnyk marvel in milestone moments
Minnesota Wild veteran forward Thomas Vanek and goaltender Devan Dubnyk enjoyed milestone nights on Thursday.
Vanek recorded his 300th career goal midway into the first period and Dubnyk made 22 saves against his former team to notch his 100th NHL victory in Minnesota's 4-3 triumph over the Arizona Coyotes.
“It's a big one; that's a lot (of wins) and this team has been an important part of that obviously,” Dubnyk told reporters. “I'll remember it and it was nice to get it back here. … Hopefully there are a lot more to come.”
After initially being credited with his 300th career goal on Saturday, Vanek officially netted the milestone tally midway into the first period to give the Wild a 2-0 lead. The 31-year-old Austrian wristed a sharp-angle shot from below the right faceoff dot that sailed between goaltender Mike Smith's shoulder and the near post.
Vanek promptly celebrated by raising his arms in the air and pumping his fist while teammate Jason Pominville alertly instructed defenseman Nate Prosser to retrieve the puck from the official.
Vanek originally thought he notched his milestone goal against the St. Louis Blues, but a scoring change credited the tally to teammate Charlie Coyle.
Vanek has scored two goals and set up another in three games this season after he mustered just 21 tallies and 52 points in 2014-15. The fifth overall pick of the 2003 draft, Vanek has recorded 311 assists in 746 career games with the Sabres, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens and Wild.
Dubnyk improved to 3-0-0 this season after securing a 27-9-2 mark with five shutouts, a 1.78 goals-against average and .936 save percentage in 39 games with the Wild in 2014-15. The impressive surge earned him a Vezina Trophy finalist honors and led to a six-year, $26 million deal in the summer.
The 29-year-old Saskatchewan native had been acquired from Arizona on Jan. 14 for a third-round pick.
(h/t Minnesota Wild)
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) October 16, 2015
— Minnesota Wild PR (@mnwildPR) October 16, 2015