(St. Paul, MN) — Minnesota fell 5-3 against Chicago on Tuesday night in front of a sellout crowd of 19,333 at Xcel Energy Center. Chicago captain Jonathan Towes scored his fourth career hat trick in the win and accounted for five points. Wild forward Mikael Granlund scored twice for Minnesota while LW Zach Parise also netted a goal. G Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves for the Wild; Corey Crawford had 29 for Chicago. After its five-day NHL break, Minnesota will conclude its franchise record eight-game homestand against Los Angeles on Monday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. CT.
Toews says it was just one of those nights offensively:
Toews seals the Hawks victory on Tuesday night with an empty net goal which gave him his fourth career hat trick and his fifth point of the night
Bob Kurtz with the call Tuesday night on the Minnesota Wild Radio Network of the final goal in a 5-3 loss to Chicago.
Minnesota played in its 700th all-time game at Xcel Energy Center, including preseason and playoff games, in front of the largest crowd of the season. The Wild holds a 21-8-1 record at Xcel Energy Center, ranking T-3rd in the NHL in wins and T-4th in points (43). Minnesota has outscored its opponents 103-63 on home ice, including 26 power-play goals. The Wild has netted 15 PPG in the last 14 games in Saint Paul. Minnesota leads the league with a 30.6 home power-play percentage (26-for-85) and ranks second in PPG scored.
The Wild moves to a 39-14-6 record in 59 games this season, ranking T-1st in the league in wins and second points (84) – just one point shy of tying Washington who has one game in hand. Minnesota is one win shy of reaching the 40-win milestone for the seventh time in franchise history. The Wild has posted points in 18 of its last 23 games (16-5-2). Minnesota moves to 24-9-5 against Western Conference opponents this season, earning points in 10 of its last 14 games against the West (9-4-1).
C Mikael Granlund scored two power-play goals for Minnesota, tying the team lead for most PPG netted in a single game this season (Niederreiter, 11/25 & 1/19). The center has netted a power-play goal in back-to-back contests (3) and four in the last five games. He has recorded at least one point in 17 of his last 20 games, totaling 24 points (9-15=24) since Jan. 12. The Finnish native owns 55 points (19-36=55) in 59 contests this season, already setting career highs in goals, PPG (6), assists, points and multi-point games (14). He leads the team in scoring, assists and multi-point games and is T-1st in goals. He also ranks T-9th in the NHL in assists and 12th in points.
RW Nino Niederreiter tallied two assists for his seventh career multi-assist game. He owns nine points (4-5=9) in the last eight contests and 21 points (10-11=21) in the last 20 games. The winger sets a career high with 45 points (19-26=45) in 59 games this season, already setting career bests in assists and PPG (8). He ranks T-3rdin the NHL in goals and T-7th in points since Jan. 12. He leads the Wild in PPG, points and hits (94) and T-1st in goals. His 45 points rank eighth amongst all-time active Swiss-born players in a single-season.
C Mikko Koivu recorded his third consecutive multi-point contest, totaling six points (1-5=6). He matches his career high for most consecutive multi-point games for the fourth time (last, 3/23-3/27/13). It’s his 135th career multi-point game (11th this season) while also posting four multi-point games in the last five contests and five in the last nine games. The captain owns 46 points (17-29=46) in 58 games this season, ranking second on the team in GWG and points and T-4th in goals.
RW Jason Pominville registered the second assist on Parise’s goal, extending his assist streak to three games. He has 12 points (2-10=12) in the last nine games and 20 points (4-16=20) in the last 16 contests. The winger owns 38 points (10-28=38) in 59 matches this season, ranking fourth on the Wild in shots (130) and T-4th in helpers. He leads the NHL in assists and T-1st in scoring since Jan. 19.
LW Zach Parise netted the Wild’s second goal of the game, his sixth marker in the last 11 games. He owns 28 points (14-14=28) in 50 contests this season, leading the team with 155 shots and T-6th in goals.
G Devan Dubnyk moves to an 6-2-0 record at Xcel Energy Center in his last eight starts, posting a 2.24 GAA and a .924 SV%. He is 32-11-2 with a 2.01 GAA, a .933 SV% and five shutouts in 46 games this season, just one win shy of tying the second-most wins by a Wild goaltender in a single season in franchise history. The goalie leads the NHL in wins and SV%, ranks T-1st in GAA and is T-4th in shutouts this season.
C Jonathan Toews scored twice for Chicago while RW Richard Panik and C Nick Schmaltz each netted a goal. G Corey Crawford made 29 saves.