Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wild 'kiddie corps' almost pull it off, push Canucks to OT

Salo scores in OT to clinch Northwest Division for Canucks

The Minnesota Wild came into a post-Olympic rebuilt GM Place in Vancouver Sunday night, looking for some spark to ignite the last week of the 2009-10 season. The Vancouver Canucks tried to douse any chance of that, scoring into an empty Minnesota net with 54.3 seconds left in the game. Or so they, and 18,810 Canucks patrons, thought.

That's when the Wild kids came in to help save the day. And, they almost did, losing to the Canucks 4-3 in overtime, as the Canucks clinched the Northwest Division title, and the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Western Conference playoffs.

Cody Almond, on call-up from Houston, scored with 41.1 seconds left in regulation, then Antti Miettinen scored with 19 seconds remaing in regulation, to send the game into the OT where Sami Salo scored, after yet another load of BS was delivered by Alex Burrows, as he was the 'victim' of a phantom high-stick call against Greg Zanon, after Burrows lifted Zanon's stick into his own visor.

Ryan Kesler scored shorthanded in the first period, as the Canucks were serving a penalty as Kevin Bieksa raced up the ice, with two Wild players (Martin Havlat, Marek Zidlicky) unable to stop the seemingly inevitable, as Kesler zoomed by Mikko Koivu to receive Bieksa's cross-slot pass.

Kyle Wellwood tipped a Kevin Bieksa screen shot from the point to score late in the second period, as four players (two from each team) all wound up in front of Niklas Backstrom, who was totally helpless to stop Bieksa's shot.

Andrew Brunette finally lit the lamp for Minnesota as he put away the rebound of yet another wide shot by Miettinen at the 10:00 mark of the third period. However, the fate of the Wild was sealed as Alex Edler' s 170-foot shot found the empty net with 54.3 seconds left. Or so we thought.

Next Game: at Edmonton, tonight (Monday), 8:30 PM Central (7:30 PM Mountain) Time, Rexall Place. (Wild TV: KSTC-45; TSN (in HD); XM Radio, Ch. 206)


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