ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Wild have had to work a bit harder to generate any offense this season. That’s what made Jason Zucker zooming past everybody for a highlight-reel goal such a welcome sight.
Dany Heatley, Zucker and Torrey Mitchell all scored in the second period to rally Minnesota over the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on Sunday night.
It was Minnesota’s first regulation win since Jan. 29 and just the second time it scored at least three goals in regulation over the past nine games.
It’s big. I’m not going to sit here and say this makes our season, Wild coach Mike Yeo said. We’ve still got a lot of work to do and we’re focused on continuing to get better as a group. But this is huge.
Damien Brunner and Pavel Datsyuk scored for Detroit, which has lost three straight for the first time since March 10-21 of last season.
You have to win and get points in this league, otherwise you lose sight of things in a hurry, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. Right now, we’re taking on water.
After Heatley snapped a nine-game scoring drought to make it 2-1, Zucker went coast-to-coast and scored his first NHL goal to tie it.
Zucker was called up Saturday to spark the Wild’s offense. The 2010 second-round pick showed off his speed and made a slick move on Valtteri Flippula to break free and score unassisted.
For me, I skate fast and I try to get the puck on net, Zucker said. That’s what I do.
Asked about his shoot-first mentality, Zucker smiled and said: I’m not exactly a passer. I’m trying to get the puck on net and limit my passing.
BLACKHAWKS 3, KINGS 2: In Chicago, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews each had a goal and an assist to help Chicago extend its season-opening points streak to 15 games.
Patrick Sharp also scored for the Blackhawks (12-0-3), who matched the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers for the second-longest season-opening points streak in NHL history. Chicago is one away from the league record, set by Anaheim in 2006-07, and will try to match the mark on Tuesday when it hosts Vancouver.
PENGUINS 4, SABRES 3: In Buffalo, N.Y., defenseman Paul Martin scored with 2:04 left as Pittsburgh (11-5-0) won its third straight and improved to 8-2 in its past 10 to move ahead of idle New Jersey atop the Eastern Conference. Pascal Dupuis had two goals and an assist and Sidney Crosby also scored and set up Martin’s goal.
BRUINS 3, JETS 2: In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Brad Marchand scored 36 seconds into the third period to lift Boston.
Tyler Seguin and Daniel Paille also scored, and Patrice Bergeron had two assists for the Bruins (9-2-2). Tuukka Rask stopped 22 for Boston to earn his seventh win of the season.
FLAMES 4, STARS 3: In Dallas, Steve Begin, Matt Stajan and Roman Horak each scored their first goals of the season in the third period and Calgary overcame a two-goal deficit for the win.
It was the Flames’ second victory over the Stars in five days, having won 7-4 in Calgary on Wednesday.
RANGERS 2, CAPITALS 1: In New York, Derek Stepan’s power-play goal early in the third period snapped a tie and completed New York’s rally.
It was the only time New York’s struggling power-play unit connected in the game, but it came at the perfect time and helped snap the Capitals’ season-high winning streak at three games.