Harding Shuts Door as Wild Blanks Canucks
It took a little while, but the Minnesota Wild finally gave its fans something to cheer about. Josh Harding made 33 saves and the crowd roared as Minnesota shut out the hated Northwest Division rival Vancouver Canucks 2-0 Monday night in St. Paul. The win ended a five game home losing streak that stretched back to February 26th, when the team picked up a 4-3 win against the San Jose Sharks.
Erik Christensen found a way to stay hot, scoring his fourth goal in four games on a late first period power play goal. The shot gave some hope for a reeling Wild power play unit, which had recently gone just 1 for 23 until Christensen found the back of the net. Kyle Brodziak added the empty netter to tally his 19th goal of the year.
Harding gathered his second shutout of the year in a very good outing. It was his first start since he was injured against the Phoenix Coyotes on March 8th, and his first win in his last six. Usual starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who has been out for eight games with a groin injury, was finally healthy enough to be on the bench and back Harding up.
With just 10 games left in its season, this win hardly matters for the Wild in terms of battling for a playoff spot. However, it was hard for even the most bitter of fans not to crack a smile at a home shutout of the team’s biggest rival. There’s no doubt that this has been an unbelievably frustrating season, but hopefully the team can start building on some positives, and try and be the strong team they can be heading into next season.
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