Game Recap: Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets | 12/30/23

Creator: James Carey Lauder | Credit: USA TODAY Sports

In the first game of a back-to-back, home-and-home series, the Minnesota Wild had trouble showing their progress since the beginning of the season. Even though captain Jared Spurgeon drew back into the lineup, Part of the trouble was the inability to get anything going five-on-five due to a string of penalties by both teams.

Quick Recap

Final Score: 4-2 Jets

Penalty Minutes: 32 total minutes between teams

Shots on goal: 37-32 Wild

Highlights: Power Play Goal by the Wild, Beautiful Sequence by the Top Line, Goaltender Switch, Middleton Fight, Unfortunate Injuries

The Jets dominated the first period until the Wild got their skates under them about halfway through. The Wild had a few good looks at a yawning net but were unable to get anything in. At one point, rookie Marco Rossi put a shot on goal as Jets’s goalie Connor Hellebuyck while Hellebuyck’s back was turned. Still, the first period ended with the Jets up 2-0.

A steady stream of penalties derailed the second period. The Jets scored their third goal of the game on a rebound that Gustavsson failed to control. The second period also saw the Wild get on the scoreboard with a power play goal by Ryan Hartman

The third period started with a surprise goaltender change and an immediate goal by the Wild. Marc-Andre Fleury was the goalie in net when the Wild took the ice for the last period. While fans were left to speculate why Fleury took the cage with another game coming tomorrow, the top line scored a goal only 40 seconds into the period to bring the Wild within one. A beautiful sequence from Joel Eriksson Ek behind the net to Kirill Kaprizov. He shoveled it out front to Matt Boldy, who was able to put it into the back of the net.

After the uncertainty surrounding Gustavsson, there was more worry after an uncalled cross-check to the back of Kaprizov by Brenden Dillon had Kaprizov wincing in pain on the bench.

Jake Middleton answered the bell and challenged Dillon to a fight, landing a few good rights before the officials broke it up. While the fight was a good one, it also put the Wild down one of their best defensemen for five minutes.

In the second half of the third, the Wild announced that Gustavsson would not be returning to the game as he had sustained a lower-body injury. The Wild’s top goalie prospect, Jesper Wallstedt, is also injured with a lower-body injury. If Gustavsson is injured for tomorrow’s game, the Wild will have to call goalie Zane McIntyre up from Iowa to play backup. Around the same time as the Gustavsson announcement, Marcus Johansson took a shift that was supposed to be Kaprizov’s, signaling that Kaprizov’s injury may also be more serious. This was oddly reminiscent of last season when Kaprizov was injured in the same arena against the Jets, putting him out of commission for almost two months.

The game in St. Paul comes less than 24 hours after the game in Winnipeg ends. It is unknown how serious the injuries to Kaprizov and Gustavsson are, but Head Coach John Hynes will have to come up with a plan for tomorrow’s game.

With Fleury coming in to relieve Gustavsson, this game counted as his 999th game in the NHL. Originally, Fleury was supposed to play tomorrow, but now it’s unclear what the plan is for goaltenders. If Fleury starts in net tomorrow as originally planned, it will be his 1000th game, making him only the 4th goalie in NHL history to reach that milestone.

For Minnesota Wild game recaps and more, make sure to listen to Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast.

Bold Statement: I Would NOT Trade Brock Faber for Connor Bedard Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast

In this episode, Mikki explains why she would NOT trade Brock Faber for Connor Bedard, which made people big mad on social media. She also touches on a few fun things to keep it light at the end. Links:Her Wild Side Merch Shop!Ticketmaster Affiliate LinkSocial Media:TwitterInstagramFacebookFor more from us, visit Inside The RinkHow to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR 
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