Wild use 3-goal burst to coast past Senators 7-2
By Brian Murphy
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Defenseman Jared Spurgeon had a goal and two assists, Zack Parise stayed hot and Minnesota scored three goals in a 4:13 span of the second period to cruise to a 7-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Friday.
The Wild had their highest-scoring game of the season, beating the Senators for the eighth straight time since November 2016. It was the first time Minnesota scored seven goals since a Dec. 11, 2018, victory over Montreal.
All four forward lines had a goal and Alex Stalock made 33 saves to improve to 6-3-2 as starter Devan Dubnyk takes more family leave to deal with his wife’s undiagnosed illness.
After Minnesota took a 3-2 lead into the third period, Luke Kunin, Ryan Hartman and Eric Staal added insurance goals.
The Wild extended their points streak to eight games (5-0-3). Only the Boston Bruins (10 games) have a longer active streak.
It was the fourth time this season Ottawa allowed five or more goals in a game after yielding just five in its previous four games.
The Wild dominated the scoring chances in the first period but were denied by the goal post and Senators goalie Anders Nilsson. Meanwhile, Ottawa opened the scoring when Nick Paul re-directed Nikita Zaitsev’s point shot at 15:37. It was Paul’s first goal in 15 games.
Minnesota came to life in the second period with 17 shots and a trio of goals 4:13 apart to take a 3-2 lead into the third. Ryan Donato got it rolling with his second goal in three games, grabbing a loose puck in the corner, cutting to the net and roofing a backhander over Nilsson.
The Senators regained the lead only 54 seconds later off an offensive-zone faceoff. Brady Tkachuk, despite being knocked to the ice by Parise, managed to one-time Connor Brown’s centering pass past Stalock for his ninth of the season.
The Wild quickly answered off the rush. Staal fed Zuccarello in the left circle. His shot toward the net was tipped by Spurgeon, who celebrated his 30th birthday with his third goal of the season.
Just 28 seconds later, Parise gave Minnesota its first lead. His goal-line shot ricocheted off Nilsson’s skates and through the goaltender’s legs. Parise continued his torrid pace. His team-leading 11th goal of the season was his seventh in eight games.
NOTES: Staal became the 113th player to skate in 1,200 NHL games. …The Senators finished 0 for 1 on the power play and remain mired in last place in the NHL with a 9.3% conversion rate.