The clock was ticking down. The Minnesota Wild were clinging to a one-goal lead on Tuesday night, desperately hoping to post two points in a four-team race for the final two Western Conference playoff spots.
With 15 seconds left and his cage empty, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov had the puck on his stick and a gaping net in front of him. He fired as Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom slid over. Somehow, the puck stayed out of the Minnesota net.
The NHL sees a lot of saves every night. Not many are made by a sprawling goalie’s inner calf on their opposite leg, preventing a tying goal.
Michael Russo of the Star Tribune got reaction from Backstrom, who had 22 saves in the 2-1 win to snap a 5-game home losing streak for the Wild:
Backstrom said crazy save on Voynov w 11 left was w right calf: "I don’t if that’s a specialty from a goalie book, maybe Tim Thomas book."
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) April 24, 2013
The Wild now have 53 points with two games remaining – two more than Columbus (2 games) and three more than Detroit (3 games).