ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reeling and banged up, the Minnesota Wild were eager to get back on home ice. They took out their recent frustrations on the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
Matt Dumba continued his high-scoring start with two goals, Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves and the Wild rebounded from a disappointing road trip in a 7-1 victory.
“I think that’s all the boys had on their mind, was kind of redeeming ourselves,” Dumba said.
The Wild scored four times in the second period to recover from a lousy swing through Western Canada, when Minnesota dropped two of three and lost captain Mikko Koivu to injury.
Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle, Eric Staal, Jared Spurgeon and Zach Parise also scored for Minnesota (16-12-2), which went 4 for 4 on the power play.
Jeff Petry scored for Montreal (15-11-5), which ended a three-game winning streak.
“Give them all the credit,” Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher said. “They outplayed us in every facet. But, did they see our best effort? No. It’s not the way that we need to play”
After taking a 1-0 lead on Niederreiter’s first-period goal, the Wild exploded in the second period. Dumba started the outburst when he cashed in on the first penalty of the game. He ripped a shot off a cross-ice feed from Mikael Granlund for a 2-0 lead on the power play.
“Everyone came to play tonight,” Dumba said. “We just need more of that. When everyone shows up, we’re a really good team.”
Coyle made it 3-0 with a short-handed goal at 12:33. He ripped a back-handed shot past Antti Niemi.
Staal followed up his own rebound at 14:58 to make it 4-0, and with 1.7 seconds left in the period, Spurgeon added a second power-play goal with a one-timer.
The Wild haven’t had a lot of stress-free moments recently. They came into Tuesday’s game having lost five of six and eight of 12. The four-goal second period alleviated any nerves.
“A win where the coach isn’t going nuts behind the bench, a really good game from the goalie and some guys that hadn’t been able to score recently got a chance to get some numbers,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “That’s always a good thing.”
Dumba added another power-play goal early in the third. He leads NHL defencemen with 12 goals and six power-play goals.
After Petry’s goal briefly stopped the wave of Minnesota pressure, the lead quickly returned to six when, on another power play, Spurgeon found Parise with a blueline-to-blueline pass and Parise buried his 14th goal of the season.
“For us as a group, it was a really good response,” Parise said.
Niemi made 17 saves before giving way to Carey Price. Montreal started its three-game road trip with wins over Ottawa and Chicago. The Canadiens had won four of their previous five.
“We talked about it all day and we had an opportunity to go back home with a perfect record on this road trip and we needed to be ready to play, but that’s exactly what happened,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. “We weren’t ready to play, we weren’t ready to do the things that we needed to do to win and when you don’t do that you get exposed like you did (tonight).”
NOTES: Minnesota was playing its second game without Koivu, who was injured during Thursday’s 2-0 loss in Calgary. The Wild also were in danger of losing their third consecutive home game. The last time they lost three or more games in St. Paul was March 23-28, 2017. … Staal has 44 points in 47 games against Montreal.
By The Associated Press