Devan Dubnyk was pulled 30 minutes and 17 seconds into Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Blues after giving up three soft goals on 16 shots.
“I’ve got to play better than that,” he said after the game. Since the All-Star Break, Dubnyk has given up three or more goals on nine of 14 starts.
Mike Reilly’s mistake in the defensive zone led to a Jori Lehtera goal that came on an unscreened 33-foot shot, and less than two minutes later fourth-line winger Ryan Reaves beat Dubnyk on a 51-footer from the right circle.
Minnesota interim coach John Torchetti challenged that former Wild forward Kyle Brodziak entered offside, but the officials ruled it a good goal.
“This is the play that they brought the coaches challenge in for, this exact play,” Dubnyk told the Star Tribune. “It’s so offside that both our defensemen [Marco Scandella and Jonas Brodin] stopped playing, and all of a sudden [the Blues] have twice as much room as they would.”
“We teach play to the whistle, right?” Torchetti countered.
Patrik Berglund scored off a rebound in the third to put the Blues up 3-0, chasing Dubnyk. It came off a Chris Porter turnover where Minnesota focused too much on David Backes, who had the puck.
Ryan Suter and Matt Dumba scored in the third to narrow St. Louis’ lead to 3-2, but and empty-net goal at 18:29 by Robby Fabbri sealed it for the Blues.
The Wild were disappointed about the loss after the game, but are still in the playoff picture and don’t have a game until Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers after playing 15 in 27 days.
“If we were sitting here two weeks ago and said we were going to be 8-4 after … whatever was going on prior and said that we’d be two points ahead, I think everyone would sign up for that,” Torchetti told the Pioneer Press. “Now it’s up to us down the stretch to keep getting tighter as a team.”[Star Tribune, Pioneer Press]