ST. PAUL, Minnesota -- The Minnesota Wild have a very efficient defensive system under the tutelage of their head coach Jacques Lemaire. It becomes even more efficient once the Wild gain a lead. Even so, some timely saves by Dominik Hasek and a late goal by Steve Yzerman let the Red Wings salvage a 1-1 tie with the Wild Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild came out with a lot of pressure to start off the first period. Hasek held them off early, and the Red Wings were eventually able to gain control of the play. At the other end of the ice, goalie Dwayne Roloson was solid, stopping all eight of the shots his defensemen let through""including a point shot by Nicklas Lidstrom which hit Roloson's helmet so hard that it broke one of the straps.
Minnesota managed to open the scoring when Kris Draper was sent to the penalty box for slashing midway through the second period. Jim Dowd won a deep zone faceoff back to Marian Gaborik. Gaborik shot the puck towards the net, and Andrew Brunette banged at it until it slid beneath Hasek's outstretched right arm for the goal.
Pavel Datsyuk had an excellent opportunity to tie the game early in the third period when he was awarded a penalty shot after Filip Kuba dragged him down to the ice on a breakaway attempt. He made the shot attempt without his usual speed, and Roloson was able to make the save.
Yzerman tied the game up with 7:42 left in regulation play. Chelios made a high pass from the right corner. The puck hit Yzerman in his midsection, but he was able to catch the puck and glove it down to the ice, then get his stick on it to put a rising shot past Roloson.
The Red Wings started well in the overtime period. They handled the puck well and created a few offensive chances. The Wild managed to creep in and take back control of the play, however, and Hasek had to be sharp to keep the 1-1 tie.
Detroit outshot Minnesota 28-26. The Red Wings' next game will be at home Wednesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Notes: This was Brett Hull's 1200th career game.... Yzerman made the decision to play in back-to-back games. His knee seems to be holding up just fine.... The Red Wings gained five of six possible points on this road trip.