Ryan Hartman scored the game-winning goal with 12 seconds left in overtime to give the Minnesota Wild (4-0-0) a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks (2-3-1) on Saturday night. It was the second straight game that the Wild erased an opponent’s lead and won the game in overtime. Minnesota has now 4-0-0 for the first time since the 2008-09 season and has won all four games by one goal.
The Wild and Ducks’ second game in nine days got off to a quick start as Rickard Rakell scored just 78 seconds in for the Ducks. However, the Wild responded with two goals 1:54 apart six minutes later. Brandon Duhaime started the scoring and tied the game with one of the weirdest first-career NHL goals you’ll ever see. The puck deflects off of his skate as he’s trying to pick up his stick in front of the Anaheim net.
It was good to see Duhaime finally score. He was a stud for Providence in college (72 points in 117 career games), was a preseason fan favorite for the Wild this season, and “scored” a goal that was called off against the Los Angeles Kings last week. Jared Spurgeon then scored a rocket through a Marcus Foligno screen to give Minnesota the lead before Troy Terry tied the game for the Ducks two minutes after this goal.
Rickard Rakell scored his second goal of the game – and his fourth of the season – to give the lead back to the Ducks 1:49 into the second period. The Wild responded again after Jon Merrill slipped a shot through John Gibson’s legs to tie the game at the 11:56 mark. It was the eighth time in four games that the Wild erased an opponents lead (seven one-goal deficits, one two-goal deficit).
The third period was mostly uneventful. The teams played 4-on-4 for two minutes after coincidental penalties but neither team had a power play. Anaheim had most of the pressure early in the period, but Cam Talbot and the Wild kept the game tied. Minnesota had plenty of chances to take the lead in the last two minutes but had four shots blocked.
In overtime the Wild had all of the pressure, as they outshot the Ducks 5-2 and spent two minutes on the power play. Kirill Kaprizov, Kevin Fiala, Joel Eriksson-Ek, and Jared Spurgeon were all on the ice for the entire two minutes but could not cash in. Ryan Hartman turned out to be the hero after he jumped off the bench and fired the game winner over Gibson’s glove.
My favorite part about this clip is how loud the reaction of the fans is. 18,055 were in attendance at the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday night and you could clearly tell the players loved the energy. After Tuesday’s 6-5 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets Dean Evason said “the crowd was absolutely incredible. Like in the third period, we all got goosebumps the way they stood up in unison at one point during a timeout and cheered. It gave us a boost, it gave us a kick at the end to go forward and our guys appreciated it. We appreciated it.” I’m sure the Wild felt the same way after Saturday’s win.
The unbeaten Minnesota Wild will conclude their homestand against the Nashville Predators (1-3-0) on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. It will be the first time the Wild have faced the Predators since March 3, 2020. After Sunday’s game Minnesota will then travel to play Vancouver, Seattle, and Colorado on a three-game road trip.