LOS ANGELES — It was a well-deserved moment for Ryan Hartman.
A couple of days after being ejected for the final 10 minutes against the San Jose Sharks, Hartman played hero against the Arizona Coyotes, collecting a no-look pass from Jared Spurgeon on bended knee and blasting home the game-winner in a 4-3 overtime victory.
“Our line had been getting some chances,” Hartman said. “It’s nice to finally put one in and contribute a little bit.”
Much better feeling than finishing the game alone in the locker room, right?
“Yeah,” Hartman said with a smile. “I tend to like to finish the game.”
That joking demeanor from Hartman was nowhere to be found a couple of days ago. He declined comment after the loss to the Sharks, figuring he was better off not talking about a questionable call on winger Evander Kane.
Instead of dwelling on it, though, Hartman used it as motivation, and responded in the win over the Coyotes.
“He put it away there for us,” Matt Dumba said. “He’s a guy that’s been great for us this season in the sense of being gritty and tenacious. He comes to the rink every day and works hard and pushes guys.”
That’s the type of player Hartman hoped to be after signing with the Wild this offseason and he’s lived up to that so far. That is, when he actually finishes a game.
“It was good redemption for him to get that,” coach Bruce Boudreau. “I was really happy for him.”
Dubnyk relishes No. 500
It felt extremely fitting that Devan Dubnyk returned to Gila River Arena a couple of days after reaching the 500-game milestone.
That building, of course, was where Dubnyk got his career back on track after signing with the Coyotes prior to the 2014-15 campaign.
“When I signed here that offseason, I didn’t know which way my career was going,” said Dubnyk, who was nearly out of the NHL after falling on tough times with the Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators and even a now-defunct AHL affiliate in Hamilton, Ont. “These guys gave me a chance here to come in and feel good about myself.”
Everyone knows the rest of the story by now. After regaining his confidence with the Coyotes, looking like himself once again, Dubnyk was traded to the Wild and has racked up more than 300 games since.
“It’s safe to say at that time I would’ve never imagined that it would get to this point,” Dubnyk said. “It’s pretty cool to think back on it and be able to walk back in this building right at that time.”
“It’s a good time to sit back and reflect a little bit and think about everything that’s happened,” Dubnyk added. “It feels good. You have to enjoy things like that because they don’t happen too often.”
Donato hoping for more
Ryan Donato netted his first goal of the season in the loss to the Sharks, and while it came with the Wild trailing by a couple of goals, he still let out a pretty big fist pump afterward.
“It’s about the game, right? It’s not about me,” Donato said. “Still, it was a relieving feeling for me. I had a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders. I’m the type of guy that hopefully if I get one the flood gates will open from there. That’s my mind-set and I’m kind of leaning towards that and believing that will happen.”
That would be best-case scenario for the Wild. They could use some added production from the bottom half of the lineup.
“I think I’ve had probably 10 or 15 chances this season where I’m like, ‘You gotta be kidding me,’ ” Donato said. “I could be in a completely different place if a lot of those go in. Just try to continue to do the things that they want me to do and I know that those chances will come more often.”