NHL

Alex Goligoski’s overtime goal gives Wild 2-1 comeback win at Carolina

Alex Goligoski’s overtime goal gives Wild 2-1 comeback win at Carolina

The Wild made Alex Goligoski’s 1,000th NHL game a late-night celebration.

During a pregame ceremony on Saturday, Goligoski, who was accompanied on the ice by his wife Amanda and children Roman and Mila, received the traditional silver stick to honor the milestone, as well as a glass watch, ATV and Rolex .

Then, after the puck dropped, congratulatory messages from former teammates splashed across the video board — from the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, with whom Goligoski won a Stanley Cup in 2009, to his also Gopher Phil Kessel.

But before wrapping up the evening, Goligoski commemorated the festivities in his own way.

In just his sixth appearance of the season after being struck out 12 of 13 games since scoring No. 1,000 on Oct. 20, Goligoski finished a 2-1 rout for the Wild against the Hurricanes in front of 18,278 at Xcel Energy Center when scoring. his first goal of the season in overtime.

“I’m happy to help the team win a game like this,” said a still emotional Goligoski after getting choked up during a post-match TV interview. “Just a great night.”

While crashing the net, Goligoski took a pass from Sam Steel and wired the puck past Carolina goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov at 1 minute, 12 seconds for his third career overtime goal and first with the Wild in front of his family , including his parents Paula and Dan. brother, and friends.

“Just to end it like that, it was a crazy, emotional night,” Goligoski said.

Before that and with just 2:37 left in the third period, Steel erased a pesky one-goal deficit for the Wild by tipping in a feed from Jared Spurgeon to take advantage of the top-line promotion with his first game of multiple points in the match. season

“Just get him the puck,” Steel said of the game-winning play. “You’re not thinking about anything else at the time. As soon as [Goligoski] written down, it’s like a movie script for him. So we were very happy.”

The comeback snapped a three-game home and overall streak for the Wild and raised their home record to 3-5-1, while Filip Gustavsson, who continues to fill in for the injured Marc-Andre Fleury, finished with 20 saves and it got better. in the 2-4-1. Kochetkov made 19 saves.

“We’re scraping and scraping here right now,” Goligoski said. “Nothing comes easy. So we’ve been playing this way for a while, and it’s just a matter of Spurge making a big play on Steeler. You get that one goal, and I’m glad we did because you could feel it. come a little

“If we don’t get rewarded there, we don’t feel very good here right now. So it was a great win against a really good team.”

It was the fourth time in seven games the Wild limited the opposition to one goal or less, and while they’ve only scored more than two goals twice in the last eight games, that low-scoring style is the who wants to play the Wild.

“This is who we are,” coach Dean Evason said. “That team was just like us.”

During a 2-on-1 run, the Hurricanes’ Sebastian Aho buried a pass from linemate Martin Necas in the back of the net with 13:47 left in the first period.

With no power play conversions (the Wild went 0-for-1 and Carolina 0-for-2) and each side shooting under 20, it looked like that lone goal might decide the outcome.

But the Wild, who went with just 11 forwards and seven defensemen, never broke loose.

“I think they saw, they knew, they felt we were playing well,” Evason said. “We weren’t cheating the game. They outplayed us in the first period, but we were matching their speed, we were matching their pace, their dynamism and we were having opportunities.”

Goligoski certainly took advantage of his.

While the 37-year-old veteran was a regular for much of his debut with the Wild last season after signing as a free agent, the Grand Rapids native began playing less when he returned for two more seasons in the March.

He skated through the first four games, hitting No. 1,000 in the team’s 4-3 win against the Canucks, but was taken out of the top six the next start when Jon Merrill returned from offseason surgery.

“It’s been terrible to be honest,” Goligoski said of being a healthy scratch. “I’m not used to this. I’m not used to coming to the court and not playing. That’s why I’m a little emotional now.

“… But you have to make the most of your opportunities, so that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Goligoski may not have to wait long for another chance to suit up.

Asked if Goligoski had done enough to stay in the lineup, Evason said: “I would think so. I think we’d be the dumbest coaches in the world if we didn’t.”



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