Wild come up short against Ottawa
OTTAWA (AP) Mike Brodeur made a name for himself Saturday night in his NHL debut for the Ottawa Senators.
No relation to New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur, the rookie goalie carried a shutout into the third period, and Erik Karlsson scored his first career goal, leading Ottawa to a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Brodeur stopped 22 shots in his first career start after backing up Brian Elliott for 13 straight games.
“It’s a dream come true to get that win,” Brodeur said. “You don’t want to come in and lose your first night. You want to perform to the best of your ability and I think I did that.”
Minnesota played as scheduled after a fire in an equipment van outside Scotiabank Place on Friday destroyed much of its equipment.
“It’s not the way you want to prepare for a game but the trainers did an unbelievable job to even make this game possible tonight,” said goalie Niklas Backstrom, who made 20 saves wearing mostly replacement gear after most of his original equipment was burned in the fire.
Karlsson, Ottawa’s top pick in the 2008 draft, scored for the first time in 21 games 2:55 into the third to give the Senators a 4-0 lead.
“It feels really good,” Karlsson said. “I had two really good chances last game that I think I should have scored on and to get a goal like is always good. I’ve just got to keep shooting the puck and hope that more goals will go in.”
Anton Volchenkov, Milan Michalek and Jarkko Ruutu also scored for Ottawa, which had lost two of three, including a 4-2 loss at New Jersey one night earlier.
Mike Fisher and Jonathan Cheechoo each recorded their 300th career points for the Senators.
Martin Havlat spoiled Brodeur’s shutout bid with his fifth goal at 4:40 of the third. Nick Schultz, who bought new shoulder pads at a local sporting goods store, assisted on the goal along with Clayton Stoner, who picked up his first career point in his second NHL game.
“Definitely I was thinking about it, but you can’t ask for a shutout,” Brodeur said. “A win is good tonight and I’ll take whatever I can get.”
In addition to scrambling to find replacement equipment for a number of its players, the Wild were short-handed on the ice. Minnesota dressed 17 skaters after a flu bug that knocked Eric Belanger and Robbie Earl out of the lineup also forced Guillaume Latendresse to return to the team’s hotel before the team’s pregame warmup.
“I didn’t play a good game, I don’t think as a team we played a good game,” Backstrom said. “You know it would be easy to hide behind all those excuses but that’s not going to make us better.”
Brodeur was called up from Binghamton of the AHL after Senators No. 1 goalie Pascal Leclaire broke his jaw Nov. 23 when he was struck by a puck while sitting on the bench during a 4-3 shootout loss to Washington.
Fisher got his 300th point with an assist on Volchenkov’s second goal of the season 18:05 into the first.
Michalek made it a 2-0 lead with his 16th goal 24 seconds into the second, and Cheechoo picked up his 300th point with an assist on Ruutu’s seventh goal at 17:50.
NOTES: The Wild recalled G Anton Khudobin from Houston of the AHL, just in case Backstrom or backup Josh Harding were unable to dress for the game. … The Senators played their third game without C Jason Spezza, who was lost to a knee injury Monday night in a 3-2 loss in Toronto.
Updated December 19, 2009