Game Recap: Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets | 12/31/23

Creator: Terrence Lee | Credit: USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

After a tough loss in Winnipeg, the Minnesota Wild played the Winnipeg Jets once more in a back-to-back, home-and-home weekend series. The Wild looked much better during this game, with a noticeable increase in energy right at puck drop. That may have come from this game being Marc-Andre Fleury’s 1000th game. After an unexpected injury to Filip Gustavsson during yesterday’s game, Fleury ended up playing his milestone game sooner than expected.

Quick Recap

Final Score: 3-2 Jets

PIMS: 18 minutes combined (surprisingly low)

Shots on goal: 29-26 Jets

Notable Moments: Immediate Fight, Fleury’s Milestone Game, Battle to the Last Second

Vibes Report: 8/10. The vibes were high between the 78 jerseys and Fleury’s 1000th game!

While the Jets seemed to dominate for the entire game in Winnipeg, the Wild came out ready to seek revenge for the injuries their team incurred yesterday and win Fleury’s milestone game. 

The first period started with a fight right off of the faceoff. Pat Maroon made it known before the puck drop that he was dropping the gloves with Jets’ captain Adam Lowry after the injury that superstar Kirill Kaprizov picked up off of uncalled cross-checks by Brenden Dillon yesterday that kept him out of the game today. 

Ryan Hartman put the puck in the net to put the Wild up 1-0, but after a coach’s challenge, the goal was called off. Hartman came into the game with a four-game goal streak and was looking to extend that into a career-high five games, but the challenge was successful, and the score was back to 0-0.

Not long after Hartman’s goal was called back, Marcus Foligno tipped in a Jared Spurgeon shot for a goal that would stand and put the Wild up 1-0. This was Spurgeon’s second game back from injury and he was looking much more comfortable than he did yesterday skating alongside Alex Goligoski. His usual partner, Jake Middleton, has been skating with Brock Faber due to both Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin’s injuries. As the top pairing, they’ve been working well together, and Head Coach John Hynes opted not to split them up. 

Two minutes into the second period, the Jets tied up the score 1-1 with a goal by captain Adam Lowry. This goal was a bit out of the ordinary as the Wild are the stingiest NHL team in the second period. The Wild managed to keep the score tied at 1-1 coming out of the second period.

The third period started with Minnesota’s first power play of the game and the play that put the Wild in the lead 2-1 again. Freddy Gaudreau pots a shot off a pass from Marcus Johansson, giving Johansson 10 points in the last 11 games. After a slow start to the season, Johansson has finally started to put more significant points on the scoresheet.

After two periods of staying mostly out of the penalty box, the Wild were on the penalty kill for the third time almost immediately after they took the lead. Only 11 seconds into that kill, the Jets tied up the game with a goal by Vladislav Namestnikov.

At 7:32 into the third period, the Jets took their first lead of the game when Dominic Toninato scored on a delayed penalty call. With a 3-2 lead, the Jets looked to simply hold on to that score to get the win.

Despite Hynes pulling the goalie with over a minute left in the period, the Wild were unable to score to tie up the game and lost 3-2, making them 0-2 against the Jets so far this season. 

The Wild may have lost, but they were also down several significant players. While goalie Filip Gustavsson and forward Kirill Kaprizov were known to be injured well before the game, forward Vinni Lettieri was also announced to be injured at game time. Forward Mats Zuccarello and defenseman Jonas Brodin are both out with long-term injuries. That means that the Wild had four AHL players in the lineup, along with their AHL goalie backing up Fleury.

For more about the Minnesota Wild, make sure to listen to Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast. It drops multiple times a week with game recaps and vibe checks.

Trading Gustavsson Would Be the Dumbest Idea Ever Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast

 In this episode, Mikki explains why it would be best if the Minnesota Wild kept all three goalies around. She also laughs at the Kirill Kaprizov haters, talks about the prospects who've been given a chance at the end of this season, and her attempts to write a hockey romance book.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  
  1. Trading Gustavsson Would Be the Dumbest Idea Ever
  2. Bold Statement: I Would NOT Trade Brock Faber for Connor Bedard
  3. The Mom of Wild Twitter Says the Season Isn't Over Yet!
  4. The Wild Can Still Make the Playoffs if We Send Good Vibes!
  5. If Matt Boldy Was an Article of Clothing, He'd Be a Polo Shirt

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