Duhaime scores tiebreaker, sends Wild past Canadiens
Published 5:24 am Wednesday, October 26, 2022
MONTREAL — Joel Eriksson Ek had two goals and Brandon Duhaime scored the tiebreaker in the second period and added an assist, leading the Minnesota Wild to a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
Eriksson Ek scored in the first period and added an empty-netter with 30 seconds left in the third. Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 26 saves for the Wild.
Cole Caufield scored his fifth goal of the season for Montreal. Jake Allen had 28 saves on 30 shots.
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After getting promoted from the fourth line, Duhaime orchestrated most of the Wild’s offense.
During a 3-on-1 rush with his new linemates, his shot caught a piece of Allen and the rebound bounced off the end boards to the side of the net where Eriksson Ek swatted the puck behind Allen just 5 minutes, 52 seconds into the first period.
Caufield;s shot from the right side slipped inside the near post 1:07 into the second period to erase the Canadiens’ deficit before a special teams battle ensued.
Each side took two penalties apiece, a scoreless struggle with both power plays finishing 0 for 3.
But the Wild reignited when Duhaime returned. He took a pass from Frederick Gaudreau and skated in alone against Allen before lifting in the go-ahead goal at 12:48 during just his second shift of the period.
The goal gave Duhaime a score in consecutive games for the first time in his career after the 25-year-old also capitalized on a short-handed breakaway on Saturday at Boston. His only other two-point effort in his NHL career, another goal-and-assist performance came Nov. 7, 2021, against the Islanders.
After Jon Merrill impeded Mike Hoffman during a breakaway, Hoffman was awarded a penalty shot 5:50 into the third that Fleury blocked with his left pad. The save was the 14th in Wild history against 22 penalty shots, and Fleury is 22 for 28 in his career.
Fleury played in his 944th game, moving into sole possession of sixth place on the NHL’s all-time list for games by a goaltender.
Wild: At Ottawa on Thursday night in the third of a five-game trip.
Canadiens: At Buffalo on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game trip.