Wild lock up playoff spot, notch comeback win over Boston


The Minnesota Wild beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout to clinch the top wildcard spot in the Western Conference playoffs.

Mikko Koivu beat Boston goalie Tuuku Rask to the glove side in the shootout and Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov denied all three Bruin shooters to clinch the Wild victory.

Koivu finished with the game-winning goal and a pair of assists.

Boston is one of the best teams in the league. They have already secured the number one seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, so Tuesday's win took a great effort.

The Wild locked up a spot in the playoffs earlier in the evening when Carolina defeated Phoenix 4-3 in overtime, Tuesday night.

Wild players and fans found out about the return to the playoffs as the team returned to the ice for the third period.

Minnesota has been playing some of their best hockey of the season. The Star Tribune reports they are 5-0-1 in their last six games.

It didn't take the Wild long to get on the scoreboard. Jason Pominville put the Wild up early with a power-play goal, just 1:05 into the game.

That lead didn't last long, as Bryzgalov's scoreless streak quickly came to an end when Boston's Reilly Smith evened the score on a power-play goal to tie the game at one. Patrice Bergeron then gave the Bruins a brief lead when he scored his 29th goal of the season to put the Bruins up 2-1.

Pominville answered back seconds later, pulling the Wild even at 2, before the end of the first.

Late in the second period, Loui Eriksson put the Bruins on top 3-2 with his tip-in.

It stayed that way until the Wild pulled Bryzgalov in favor of the extra skater. Ryan Suter took advantage for the Wild, with 1:05 to go his wrist-shot from the point beat Rask to force overtime.

The Wild had several chances to put the game away in overtime, but Rask kept the puck out of the net to send it to a shootout.

In the shootout, after Rask stopped Zach Parise, Koivu slipped it passed him to put the Wild on top. Bryzgalov then stopped the last two Boston shooters to slam the door shut.

The Wild don't know who they will play in the playoffs yet, but know they will be the seven seed in the Western Conference.

The Wild return to the ice on Thursday when they host St. Louis.

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