Defenseman Nick Schultz and former center Wes Walz, two of the best players in Wild history, today unveiled the best games in Wild history as chosen by Wild fans. Appearing at the FAN Central building at the Minnesota State Fair today, the duo revealed the ten games, and either Schultz, Walz or both played in every one of them.
In a surprise to no one in attendance, the Wild’s 3-2 Game Seven overtime victory over the Colorado Avalanche in the 2003 Western Conference quarterfinals. Coming in at number two was the Wild’s 6-0 blitzing of the Dallas Stars in their first-ever return to Minnesota after leaving the state seven years earlier.
Games three through 10 are as follows:
3. Wild 6, Blackhawks 5 – January 9, 2010
Trailing 5-1 against the eventual Stanley Cup champions, the Wild rattled off four third period goals, including Guillaume Latendresse’s tally with less than two minutes remaining. After a scoreless overtime, Owen Nolan scored in the 11th round of a shootout, followed by a Josh Harding save.
4. Wild 3, Avalanche 2 – April 21, 2003
Richard Park and Marian Gaborik both scored third period goals, only to see the Avalanche tie it in the waning minutes. Enter Park, who darted up the right wing and found a couple inches of open space between Patrick Roy’s pads for the overtime winner.
5. Wild 4, Canucks 2 – May 8, 2003
The Wild’s magical season appeared doomed when the Canucks built a 2-0 lead in Game Seven of the Western Conference semifinals. But Pascal Dupuis’ batted puck into the goal started a Wild rally in which Walz tied the game, and Darby Hendrickson slapped home the game-winnner.
6. Wild 6, Rangers 3 – December 20, 2007
It was Gaborik’s night, when almost everything he touched turned into a goal. Almost is the key word, because after he electrified the crowd with five goals, he nearly picked up a sixth, but was stopped on a breakaway.
7. Wild 3, Flames 1 – April 3, 2008
Two goals by Gaborik, and another by Todd “Fridge” Fedoruk capped off the Wild’s home portion of the 2007-2008 season, giving the crowd a Division title on Fan Celebration Night.
8. Wild 3, Flyers 3 – October 11, 2000
The only non-win on this list gets a pass because of the way the Wild performed in the first-ever game at Xcel Energy Center. As if it was planned, Richfield’s Hendrickson scored the first-ever goal at the new arena, and the Wild fought to a tie against one of the most storied franchises in the NHL.
9. Wild 5, Canucks 1 – May 7, 2003
Faced with yet another elimination game in the 2003 playoffs, the Wild stormed past the Canucks to force a Game Seven the next night.
10. Wild 6, Lightning 5 – October 18, 2000
Minnesota hockey fans waited a long time to celebrate a win after the North Stars departed. A thrilling 6-5 win over the Lightning quenched that thirst.
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