-The Penguins played a good game. They played much better than they did last night against the Blue Jackets. The just ran into a goaltender who was really tuned in tonight and a team that was committed to defense. Sometimes, you're just not going to win.
-Like we said, the Penguins did a lot of good things tonight. They played their game. They were aggressive. They attacked the zone with speed. They got pucks on net and bombarded Backstrom as much as possible with shots and bodies. They played their game.
-If fatigue was a factor, it wasn't evident. The Penguins had every excuse to come out flat after last night's emotional come back win. But they played with high level of energy tonight. In fact, their effort was much more consistent than it was last night.
-Backstrom was outstanding. He was rarely out of position. He made just about every save look easy and even got a few lucky bounces. He was the biggest reason for the Wild's win tonight.
-We though the Todd Richards version of the Minnesota Wild was supposed to be free-wheeling, aggressive and high-tempo. It looked like the Jacques Lemaire version of the Minnesota Wild. They rarely challenged the Penguins offensively. They had a total team commitment to defense and took away a lot of shots and passing lanes.
-It was probably a good idea for the Wild to adopt a more conservative approach. They probably can't run up and down the ice with the Penguins, even if folks like Malkin and Gonchar are out of the lineup.
-Fleury was fine. He played well enough to win. He probably could've given up a better rebound on the first goal, but he was lucky to make any save on the initial shot from the point. And he had no chances on the second goal. His teammates left him out to dry there.
-We really liked the individual performances of Adams, Bourque and Dupuis. All three brought a lot of energy and put pucks on net. They stepped up in elevated roles and contributed in whatever way they could. They just don't have much ability to finish chances.
-The Penguins had an overwhelming lead in shots, 35-15.
-Dupuis led the game with five.
-Goligoski, Eaton, Godard and Skoula were the only Penguins' skaters who didn't record an official shot.
-Koivu led the Wild with four.
-Zanon led the game with 26:26 of ice time.
-Letang led the Penguins with 25:15.
-The Wild had a 27-26 edge in faceoffs (51 percent).
-Koivu was 8 for 12 (67 percent).
-Adams was 6 for 9 (67 percent).
-Zidlicky, Dupuis, Skoula and McKee each led the game with three blocked shots.
-Assuming the two teams don't meet in the Stanley Cup Final, the Wild will finish with a 5-1-0 record all-time in Mellon Arena. That equates to an oustanding .833 winning percentage. We're pretty sure no other team has a chance to top that.
-Dupuis passed up Michel Briere for 151st place on the team's all-time scoring list. Each player has 45 points but Dupuis (16) has more goals than Briere (12).
-Dan Bylsma speaks. Oh the loss.
" Last night, we know we could've played a lot better. Tonight was about as closest to a perfect game - five on five - as we've played. For 60 minutes, we played three hard periods and we had a lot of action around the net. We dictated the pace in the offensive zone and we don't get the result. It's tough to swallow in terms of looking for justice. We weren't on the right side of justice last night and we got the two points."
-On Backstrom and Minnesota's defense:
"Their goaltender played extremely well and they played hard defensively. They blocked a lot of shots. We had quality zone time. We had shots to the net but they had two and three guys blocking shots. Pucks were sticking underneath their bodies. They were getting slashed and whacked and they battled pretty hard."
-On a small break before going ot the West Coast:
"We've played three or four nights. That's a lot of hockey. Things are spread out a little bit here on the road. Hopefully we get a little bit more healthier as we go this week. This will be a chance to take a breather and get on the road. We should have some time to focus on our game. We're looking forward to a little bit of rest and getting on the road."
-On being without Crosby for seven minutes:
"Well it hurt when we got the power play. We'd like to have that player on the ice for the power play. But I also think that we were playing a good game but we needed a to push a little harder. We needed to have a level of emotion we could add to that . I think that (Crosby's fight) there brought that to our team. There was a level of emotion brought to the game. We knew we had to make a push and you have to play game without certain players that can't be out there for every minute.
-We assume Crosby is a crybaby for starting that fight. That is how it goes right? Crosby fight = crybaby. Mike Richards fight = Winston Churchill, George S. Patton and Optimus Prime all rolled into one.