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The Minnesota Wild came out in their home opener flying, against a Blue Jackets squad playing on the second night of back to back games. The difference was stark, as the Wild got behind the Blue Jackets defense repeatedly. Steve Mason was hung out to dry in the goal, with another early goal being scored from the top of the crease. And, once again, Mason was outplayed by the opposing goal tender, who some how managed to make the big stop. Nicklas Backstrom played a dogged game, repeatedly making the big saves. It must be said however, that Backstrom was not called upon to make the types of saves that Mason was, as the Minnesota goals were beauties. It wasn't the CBJ's night.
By the way Shanahammer. I'm looking at you. The head was the 'principal point of contact' on Bouchard's brutal high stick of Matt Calvert. And it certainly caused an injury, as the trail of blood on the ice would indicate.
Matt Cullen opened the scoring with a 1:10 gone in the first, leaving the CBJ defense flat footed, and coming free into the top of the crease to score on Mason. The CBJ had two early power play opportunities, the generated a whopping total of 1 shot. Then Maxsim Mayorov was called for a curious interference penalty, apparently for attempting to score on Backstrom, something he would accomplish later in the evening. The Wild converted on that power play, as defenseman Marco Scandella once again beat the Jackets defense down the ice, and went in unchecked on Mason to score, giving the Wild a 2-0 lead with 16:20 gone in the first period, that they took to the dressing room.
Shortly after the midway point of the second period, Marc Methot took a holding penalty, and on the ensuing power play, Dany Heatley deflected a hard pass 90 degrees and into the top, glove side corner of the goal. He's either really lucky, or really good. This gave the Wild a 3-0 lead at 9:20 remaining in the second period.
Derek Dorsett scored with 2:07 remaining in the second period to put the Jackets on the board. This was a really greasy goal, scored by corralling the puck while standing in the crease, then whacking it home with his stick.
But, in typical Blue Jacket fashion, one minute later they coughed up an odd man rush, and Devin Setoguchi buried one of a nice cross ice pass to put the Wild up 4-1, and to chase Mason, who was replaced after the intermission by Curtis Sanford.
On a good sequence, late in the game, Max Mayorov finally scored the CBJ's second goal. This was how the score remained, 4-2 Wild.
Up next, the Canucks, and the specter of a 0-3 start is starting to loom larger.
This just wasn't our night.