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The Sports Xchange, Published November 20 2013

Wild beat Senators in Ottawa

OTTAWA – Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo was certain his team would bounce back from a disappointing loss the night before. It almost always does.

On the heels of a 6-2 loss in Montreal, Wild center Mikko Koivu scored with 2 minutes, 57 seconds left in the third period to give Minnesota a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night at the Canadian Tire Centre.

The victory kept the Wild from what would have been just its second, two-game regulation time losing streak of the season.

Yeo found it fitting that the deciding goal was scored by Koivu, the Minnesota captain.

“I felt good going into this game and I felt confident that we were going to play really hard because of our leadership and because of the way we’ve responded in the past,” said Yeo. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in that leadership, but the one thing I was worried about was our legs after three games in four days. I thought it was a factor in the first period but I thought our guys were able to find another gear.”

While the Wild improved to 14-5-4, the Senators fell to 8-10-4 and were left wondering what they have to do to find some consistency.

“I thought we were pretty good for most of that game, but ultimately, when you’re not winning, you’re not getting the two points, and it’s hard to stay positive,” said Senators defenseman Marc Methot, who saw Koivu’s winner deflect off his stick. “A little breakdown here and there, and that cost us the game. It’s getting frustrating, for sure.”

For just the sixth time this season, the Senators outshot their opponents. They wound up with a

37-25 edge.

The Senators held a slim 2-1 lead after 20 minutes, as center Kyle Turris and winger Mika Zibanejad sandwiched goals around a power-play marker by Wild winger Jason Pominville.

“We came out and had our best first period of the year,” said Turris, whose short-handed goal was set up by a between-the-legs, full-flight pass from winger Clarke MacArthur. “We played a pretty solid game but again, there’s one or two mistakes that we let happen and they capitalized on.”

Minnesota 1 2 1— 4

Ottawa 2 0 1— 3

First Period—1, Ottawa, Turris 6 (MacArthur) 5:54 (sh). 2, Minnesota, Pominville 13 (Parise, Koivu) 6:53 (pp). 3, Ottawa, Zibanejad 5 (Grant, Condra) 11:11.

Second Period—4, Minnesota, Brodin 4 (Heatley, Fontaine) 3:00. 5, Minnesota, Heatley 4 (Koivu, Brodin) 6:15.

Third Period—6, Ottawa, Michalek 4 (Zibanejad, Karlsson) 8:57 (pp). 7, Minnesota, Koivu 5 (Parise, Coyle) 17:03.

Shots on Goal—Minnesota 6-10-9—25. Ottawa 18-12-7—37.

Power-play opportunities—Minnesota 1 of 3. Ottawa 1 of 2.

Goalies—Minnesota Harding 13-3-2 (37 shots-34 saves). Ottawa Anderson 5-7-2 (25-21).

A—16,642 (19,153). T—2:29.