Wild like luck

Knight Ridder Newspapers

ST. PAUL -- All; right, when is somebody going to haul out the pickax at the Xcel Energy Center and start chipping away at the Wild emblem at center ice?

There seems to be no shortage of good fortune for these lads, who have discovered enlightening ways to beat enlightened opponents throughout this season of enlightenment.

The latest incarnation came Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils.

The Wild used two Hail Mary goals by former Devils defensemen to clip the NHL's best defensive team 3-2 in front of an overflow sellout crowd of 18,568.


Not often does one beat goalie Martin Brodeur with conventional offensive tactics, so why not improvise by skittering shots off his own players?

Willie Mitchell scored from the blue line with 4:50 remaining to snap a 2-2 tie and give the Wild two huge points against a staunch Eastern Conference opponent they never had defeated.

His defense partner, Andrei Zyuzin, whom the Devils exiled to waivers for the Wild to claim in November, also scored from long range off a New Jersey deflection in the first period.

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