Charlie Coyle and Zach Parise helped the Minnesota Wild to some relief at home and an important second point.
Coyle and Parise scored in the shootout, and Minnesota kept pace in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
David Jones and Jason Zucker scored in regulation, and Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves for the Wild, who are one point behind idle Colorado for eighth in the West.
“This time of the year, going into the shootout, you work and compete your best and hopefully you get the extra point,” Dubnyk said. “But going into a shootout right now, getting one point is not good enough for us; a lot of emotions and a couple great shots by Chuckie and Zach.”
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The victory was more than a lift in the standings for Minnesota – it was a welcome sight at home. The Wild won for just the third time in 14 home games at the Xcel Energy Center since Jan. 1.
Coyle and Parise scored on the first two chances for Minnesota in the shootout. Riley Nash had a shootout goal for the Hurricanes, but Dubnyk stopped Chris Terry to give the Wild their second win in the past six games.
“Obviously for us, everything is about winning right now,” Zucker said. “Making sure we’re doing the right things to get these wins and get these points. Obviously it felt good to get that win tonight.”
Carolina earned a point to keep its slim playoff hopes alive, losing in overtime for the third time in four games.
Cam Ward made 30 saves for the Hurricanes. Terry and Jordan Staal scored for Carolina, which entered play six points behind eighth-place Detroit in the East. Six of the past seven games have gone to overtime for the Hurricanes, who have two wins in that span.
“We’ve got to make one more play,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said of the string of overtime games, later adding: “The tank was running dry on a few guys in OT, no question.”
Zucker scored 16 seconds into the third period when Mikko Koivu’s shot glanced off Ward’s glove and hit Zucker in the midsection. The puck dropped to the ice and Zucker knocked it in for his 13th goal of the season.
Carolina challenged the goal, arguing Zucker brought the puck in offsides after heading into the offensive zone backward. Officials upheld the goal following a replay.
“It was nice to help the team get a win tonight, in any way,” said Zucker, who had been scratched in back-to-back games before playing the last two. “Whether that’s shots on net, blocking shots or getting a goal, it was nice to help us get that win. It was two very needed points.”
Staal scored his 19th goal with just under seven minutes remaining in regulation after Dubnyk inadvertently slapped the puck right to his stick.
“They snuck away with one to get ahead and I thought we did a good job of sticking with it and found a way to get to overtime,” Staal said. “It’s never fun giving up that point.”
NOTES: Wild F Thomas Vanek was a healthy scratch for the second time this season and first time under interim coach John Torchetti. Vanek is third on the team with 18 goals this season, but he is scoreless in his last 10 games and is a minus-three in that span. … Minnesota was 0 of 2 on the power play and Carolina has now killed 38 of its past 41 penalties. Since Jan. 1, the Hurricanes have killed 82 of 92 penalties. … Carolina D Ryan Murphy missed was scratched with an upper-body injury. Rookie Trevor Carrick played in his second NHL game after being recalled on Friday. … Wild G Darcy Kuemper was scratched with an upper-body injury. He is day to day and the team recalled Steve Michalek under emergency conditions to back up Dubnyk.