Devan Dubnyk had an answer for everything the Tampa Bay Lightning through at him. He made Jared Spurgeon’s second period goal hold up to give the Minnesota Wild a 1-0 victory Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild goaltender was on top of his game. He stopped shots with his glove, pads and did not allow many rebounds. He was well positioned and even had to make a scrambling save.
“It’s something that I try not to think about too much,” Dubnyk said about raising his save percentage with a perfect night. “As the games go on, it is something you want to improve on. But, you don’t do that by going out and thinking about it. Just try to find my game, find my patience, and I was able to do that tonight.”
The Wild (8-3-2) got the game’s only goal very early in the second period. Spurgeon fired a shot through traffic that may or may not have hit something right in front of Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop 26 seconds into the period. Charlie Coyle recorded the first assist with a pass through the face-off circle to the point. That came after he was unable to get full control of a rebound in the slot off a shot from Jason Pominville.
The Lightning (7-7-3) had chances throughout the game. However, their best goal scorer was held in check and got just three of six shot attempts on goal. He had one good scoring chance on a first period man advantage, but Dubnyk was there to get a piece of the shot.
“(Dubnyk) did a great job. It starts with him,” Ryan Suter said. “(Defense) was solid. (Penalty kill) was solid. Everybody chipped in. It takes five guys to shut top players down.”
Christoph Bertschy recorded two shots on goal and one hit in his NHL debut. He played on both the third line with Erik Haula and Thomas Vanek as well as the fourth line with Ryan Carter and Chris Porter. He showed good skating ability and a willingness to be physical despite his 5-10-inch, 189-pound frame.
No. 3 – Ben Bishop. The Lightning goaltender stopped 24 shots.
No. 2 – Jared Spurgeon. The Wild defenseman scored a goal.
No. 1 – Devan Dubnyk. The Wild goaltender stopped 31 shots.
Tampa Bay……0 0 0 – 0
Minnesota….…0 1 0 – 1
First Period – None. Penalties – Pominville, MIN (tripping), 4:57; Boyle, TBL (hooking), 12:37.
Second Period – 1, Minnesota, Spurgeon 2 (Coyle, Pominville), :26. Penalties – Spurgeon, MIN (high sticking), 18:05.
Third Period – None. Penalties – Stalman, TBL (interference), 10:41; Carle, TBL (holding), 14:44.
Shots on goal – Tampa Bay 13- 7-11 31. Minnesota 7-11-7 25.
Goalies – Tampa Bay, Bishop (24-25). Minneosta, Dubnyk (31-31). Referees – Dan O’Halloran, Brian Pochmara. Linesmen – Mark Shewchyk, Lonnie Cameron.