Devan Dubnyk makes 24 saves as Wild roll to shutout of Blackhawks

BY foxsports • February 3, 2015


Without goalie Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota's season could have been over by now. Instead, the Wild are climbing back into playoff contention.

Dubnyk stopped 24 shots in his third shutout since joining Minnesota in mid-January, leading the Wild to their fourth straight win, 3-0 over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

"It's hard to climb. There's a lot of good hockey teams," Dubnyk said. "But all we can do is win the games when we get a chance to play and with how well we played tonight, we should keep winning."

Mikko Koivu, Jason Zucker and Mikael Granlund each scored for the Wild.

Since being acquired by Minnesota in a trade with Arizona, Dubnyk is 6-1 with a 1.48 goals against average. He has four shutouts overall this season.

Wild coach Mike Yeo reflected on Dubnyk's first game with Minnesota, a 7-0 shutout in Buffalo on Jan. 15, and how it helped his team snap out of a December-January funk.

"We needed that win, we were reeling, let's be honest," Yeo said. "That one win allowed us to just kind of settle into things. There's just a much better focus on our job right now. There's a better trust."

The Blackhawks, fourth in the Western Conference, spent the previous two days resting in Las Vegas. They were outshot 43-24, have been shut out in their last two and haven't won consecutive games in over a month.

"Tonight we didn't deserve it one bit so we've got no one else to blame but ourselves," center Jonathan Toews said.

Chicago hasn't scored since Patrick Kane's goal at 13:25 of the third period against Anaheim on Jan. 30, a span of 126 minutes, 35 seconds.

Did the Vegas trip contribute to Chicago's sluggish play, especially early in the game?

"That's not the excuse, whether it's incentive, whether it's rest, whether it's the next game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "We've had a couple tough games and this was definitely one of them."

Coming off three straight road wins on a Western Canadian trip, Koivu flipped in a backhander at 7:45 of the first period to keep the Wild rolling on their return home.

Often, teams struggle the first game home after a long trip, but the Wild avoided a letdown.

"When you think about it, it should be better and all that but sometimes you just slip a little bit," Koivu said. "But I thought we came out strong and it was a good game for us all 60 minutes."

Marco Scandella's cross-ice pass set up Zucker on a breakaway for his 18th goal of the season midway through the first period.

After the Wild dominated play throughout the second, they finally netted the third goal on Granlund's one-timer from between the circles at 14:12 that zipped past Corey Crawford.

Minnesota tallied 24 shots in the second, a franchise record for shots in a period. It was the third most shots the Blackhawks have ever allowed in a period.

Crawford had beat Minnesota twice this season before Tuesday, stopping 78 of 81 shots. But he couldn't withstand the Minnesota onslaught on Tuesday.

After winning seven of their first eight at home to start the season, the Wild fell apart in December and January. They had won just four of their previous 15 at the Xcel Energy Center before Tuesday.

Minnesota has won four straight in regulation for the first time since late March of 2013, and plays four of its next five at home as it tries to climb back into the playoff picture.

"I know how great of a hockey team this is and eventually they were going to start playing better," Dubnyk said. "I'm happy to have the opportunity to be a part of that turnaround."

NOTES: Wild LW Matt Cooke missed the game with a lower body injury and could be out for a while, according to Yeo. ... Blackhawks enforcer Daniel Carcillo was eligible to return from a six-game suspension, but did not play. ... Minnesota placed RW Justin Fontaine on injured reserve and recalled C Jordan Schroeder from AHL Iowa. 

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