Mikko Koivu kept the Minnesota Wild alive in their first round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Dallas Stars with two goals in Game 5 Friday at the American Airlines Center.
The Wild captain sent the game to overtime with a one-time shot under the crossbar and over the shoulder of Antti Niemi with 3 minutes, 9 seconds left in the third period. Mikael Granlund started behind the Stars net before sending a pass to the front of the net to Koivu. He ended the game by deflecting a Ryan Suter shot down between the legs of Niemi 4 minutes, 55 seconds into overtime.
The Wild (1-3) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 5 minutes, 16 seconds of the game. Granlund got the scoring start by forcing the puck into the net with Niemi reaching for it with his glove. Granlund picked up a turnover in the slot from Alex Goligoski, which was forced by David Jones, and nearly took himself out of scoring area before sending a backhand shot into the pad of Niemi. With Koivu driving the top of the crease and Niemi out of the position, the Stars defenders backed off Granlund as skated back to the net off his own rebound.
Jordan Schroeder got his first goal of the series 1 minute, 34 seconds later. He knocked a rebound over the reaching glove-side arm of Niemi after getting position on Stars defenseman Johnny Oduya at the top of the crease. Niemi kicked a rebound off a Suter out the backdoor with Jason Zucker creating a screen.
The Stars (3-1) got on the board as Oduya fired a shot past Dubnyk with 2 minutes, 42 seconds left in the first period. Oduya took a pass from Radek Faksa at the top of the circles. After Ales Hemsky drove the net around Marco Scandella, Nate Prosser cleared the puck up the middle of the ice to Klingberg and chaos around the crease ensued.
The Wild had some trouble in the period when Jamie Benn tied the game on a short breakaway. The Stars captain slipped between Jonas Brodin and Scandella as Klingberg leapt to keep a Koivu clearing attempt in the zone. Koivu had time and space to make play to exit the defensive zone, instead he immediately tried to chip the puck out of the zone off the boards.
Nino Niederreiter got the Wild back in front 50 seconds after Benn tied the game at 2-2. He got behind Klingberg and tucked a backhand while being hooked by the Stars defenseman around Niemi for the game-winning goal. As the skated past Klingberg, Niederreiter took a blue line to blue line pass from Jared Spurgeon for the breakaway.
The Stars scored a pair of goals in a :28 span to take their first lead of the game. First, Jason Spezza sent a spin-around shot off the far post and into the net. Dubnyk should have stopped sliding shot.
Immediately after, Cody Eakin cleanly won an offensive zone face off back to Goligoski. The defenseman wristed a shot off the backside of Scandella and chest of Prosser on its way into the net.
No. 3 – Jared Spurgeon. The Wild defenseman recorded two assists.
No. 2 – Mikael Granlund. The Wild forward had a goal and an assist.
No. 1 – Mikko Koivu. The Wild forward scored two goals.