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Parise's overtime goal lifts Wild past Flames

The SportsXchange

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild are learning that just because they spent nine figures on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in the off-season, they don't get a free pass into the playoffs. But having that duo sure helps the effort.

Parise's power-play goal early in overtime lifted the Wild to a 2-1 come-from-behind win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, on a night where frustration over a lack of scoring could've -- but didn't -- unhinge Minnesota once again. Parise flipped a backhand shot past Calgary goalie Joey MacDonald in the first minute of the extra session for his eighth goals as a member of the Wild (9-7-2).

Prior to the goal, the Wild had gone 0-for-7 on the power play and were clearly exasperated.

MacDonald made 28 saves and Alex Tanguay had a power play goal for the Flames, who fell to 7-7-4.

The Flames jumped out of the gate, recording nine of the game's first 10 shots on goal and taking a 1-0 lead on their first power play. Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom deflected a Mike Cammalleri shot with his glove, but Tanguay tapped the rebound out of the air and into the net.

Minnesota appeared to have tied the game later in the first, when Parise poked a loose puck past MacDonald and to the goal line. Flames defenseman Mark Giordano swatted the puck away, but the red goal light came on and officials signaled that it was a goal. After a look at the replay, they reversed their call, ruling the puck had not crossed completely over the line.

"It was frustrating. You start to wonder," said Parise. "I think we did a really good job of just shooting on the power play, and we hit posts. Fortunately, it was able to come through. You start to say, 'I don't get it. What's got to happen now?'"

Minnesota controlled the play for much of the second period but could not tie the game. Instead, Calgary had an excellent opportunity to double its advantage in the final five minutes of the period, after Minnesota rookie Charlie Coyle received a five-minute major penalty for elbowing after a collision with Matt Stajan of the Flames. But the Wild's control of the play continued despite killing a penalty, and the Flames did not get a shot on goal during the extended power play.

"The last 40 minutes of regulation was simply not good enough," said Flames coach Bob Hartley. "We wasted our best goaltending performance we had all year. I feel very sad for Joey MacDonald. When you waste nine minutes of power play without even getting a shot on net, you don't deserve to win. We could have put them away and we didn't."

Calgary, which had won two in a row, including a 3-1 victory over the Wild at home on Saturday, was 1-of-7 on the power play.

"That's the game," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla. "Our first goal was a power play goal but after, when you're up one and you have that many minutes in power plays -- nine minutes within the last 25 -- you have to make something happen. We didn't and it cost us. Our PK was very good all night but eventually we took too many penalties too."

After killing a four-minute power play in the third, the Wild tied the game late in regulation when rookie Jason Zucker tipped a Devin Setoguchi shot past MacDonald. It was just the second career goal for Zucker.

"That's the fight that we need every night," said Wild coach Mike Yeo. "If you've got seven shots and one of them hasn't gone in, get eight. If you've gone 0-for-seven on the power play, score on the next one. That's what it is. That's what winners do, and that's what they did tonight."

Backstrom finished with 20 saves for the Wild, who play the Coyotes in Arizona on Thursday. The Flames play at Colorado on Thursday.

NOTES: The Wild placed forward Cal Clutterbuck on injured reserve on Tuesday, retroactive to last Thursday, when he suffered a left thigh contusion late in a 3-1 win at Edmonton. Clutterbuck was blindsided at center ice by the Oilers' Adam Hall. Hall served a two-game suspension for the hit. ... Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff did not make the team's trip to Minnesota, as he's still recovering from a sprained knee. He last played in a Feb. 5 win in Detroit. ... Wild rookie forward Mikael Granlund celebrated his 21st birthday on Tuesday. ... Combine a Northwest Division rivalry with scoring prowess, and it's not surprising that entering Tuesday's game, Iginla had recorded more goals (35), points (65) and shots (225) against the Wild than against any other opponent. ... One of the loudest ovations of the night came in the second period, when it was announced that the University of Minnesota's basketball team had upset top-ranked Indiana in Minneapolis.
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