With a snowstorm raging outside a half-full Xcel Energy Center, the Minnesota Wild emerged with a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Monday in St. Paul, Minn.
Jason Zucker’s third-period goal was the difference-maker, as Minnesota improved to 7-0-2 in its past nine home games. It was the fourth consecutive game with a goal for Zucker, who is tied for the team lead with 19.
Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund also scored for Minnesota, and Alex Stalock had 37 saves in his eighth win of the season.
Matt Duchene had the lone goal for the Senators, who have lost four of their past five games. Mike Condon had 33 saves in the loss.
The Wild needed two shots and just 45 seconds to take a lead, when Eric Staal’s pass across the top of the crease found Parise open to the right of the net, and he tapped the puck in for his second goal in as many games. It was also just the second goal of the season for Parise, who was out of the lineup until Jan. 4 due to back surgery.
Despite Minnesota peppering Condon with shots, it could not increase its lead before Duchene tied the game midway through the second period on a breakaway. He came in alone on Stalock from the red line and tucked a shot between the goalie’s knees. It was Duchene’s 11th goal of the season, and his seventh since coming to Ottawa in a November trade with the Avalanche.
After Zucker put the Wild up 2-1 via a pass from Granlund, Granlund scored himself during a 2-on-0 break on a Wild power play, after a pass from defenseman Matt Dumba.
Minnesota did not announce the official attendance, but the game was played with roughly half of the arena’s seats unoccupied due to heavy snow that pelted the Twin Cities much of the day on Monday. A handful of Wild players were late getting to the arena due to standstill traffic and had to scramble to get in uniform by warmup time.
--Field Level Media