Eriksson's hat trick lifts Bruins over slumping Wild
BOSTON — Loui Eriksson can't help shake the comparisons to Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin.
Eriksson scored three goals and the Boston Bruins beat the slumping Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Thursday night.
"He isn't the same player as Tyler and he won't ever score 40 or 50 goals," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "But he did get three tonight and when you talk about players you can trust at the end of the game, he is on that list."
Eriksson was acquired as the centerpiece to the trade that sent Seguin to Dallas in the summer of 2013. Seguin had been injured the previous season and missed 34 games; in the four seasons before that, he averaged 30 goals and 40 assists.
"The first year with Boston I got that concussion, so that was not the best timing," Eriksson said. "Last year I felt more comfortable and I tried to build on that so it has been working pretty good."
In his first two years in Boston, Eriksson mustered a combined 84 points while Seguin blossomed with the Stars and finished in the top seven in scoring. Seguin is currently second in NHL scoring, three points behind Patrick Kane.
"Yeah, there has been a lot of talk about that (comparisons) through the years and it is nothing I try to think about," Eriksson said. "He's a great player and playing well, but I'm trying to focus on my game and help the team win."
Eriksson is on pace for a career year with nine goals and 17 points through 18 games. He wrapped up his third career hat trick and his first since December 2009 when he converted a perfect give-and-go from David Krejci early in the third period.
Krejci had two assists as Boston beat the Wild franchise for only the second time on home ice after dropping the first seven matchups.
Minnesota fell to 1-4-3 in its past eight road games and has led for just 1:12 during that stretch.
"I give us credit for the work tonight, but we aren't in the business of looking for consolation points," Wild coach Mike Yeo said.
Jason Zucker scored for Minnesota in the second period. He sustained a lower body injury as time expired and had to be helped off the ice.
"I didn't think it was that bad," Bruins forward Matt Beleskey said. "I did slash him, but ... I didn't try to break his leg. and I don't think I did, either."
Eriksson's first two goals came within a span of 3:44 of the second period and put the Bruins ahead 3-1. He scored the tiebreaker when his pass deflected off the skate off Jason Pominville and went into the net at 7:37.
Eriksson tallied again during a power play when he tipped a pass from Patrice Bergeron past goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
Dubnyk made 34 saves and dropped to 0-5 all-time against Boston, giving up an average of over five goals a game.
Jonas Gustavsson made his first start in five games and had 24 saves for Boston.
Zucker made it 1-all at 5:12 of the second period. His goal came 41 seconds after the Bruins failed to capitalize on a two-man advantage they held for 75 seconds.
Brad Marchand also scored for Boston. Jordan Schroeder scored his first of the season for the Wild.
NOTES: Minnesota recalled Gustav Olofsson while defenseman Marco Scandella is out with a lower body injury. ... Zach Parise missed his sixth straight game for the Wild. ... Mikko Koivu extended his point streak to five games for the Wild. Bergeron has a point in six straight. . Eriksson has 32 points in 32 games against Minnesota.