By MIKE COOK
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Mats Zuccarello and Frederick Gaudreau scored in a shootout and the struggling Minnesota Wild rallied to beat the red-hot New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Saturday night.
Joel Eriksson Ek and Ryan Hartman scored in regulation and Filip Gustavsson stopped 27 shots for the Wild, which ended a three-game slide.
Tomas Tatar had a pair of goals for the Devils, whose three-game winning streak ended, but New Jersey is 10-1-2 in its last 13 games. Vitek Vanecek had 22 saves.
Starting a four-game trip, the Devils are still a league-best 19-3-3 on the road.
Zuccarello scored on the Wild’s first shootout attempt and Tatar missed for the Devils. Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov and New Jersey’s Jesper Bratt each missed in the second round before Gaudreau slowly skated in and lifted a shot high glove side.
Minnesota is 5-2 in shootouts.
Down by one entering the third period, a slap shot by Matt Dumba caromed off Hartman’s upper body and past Vanecek at 5:25. Hartman took a few seconds to gingerly get up before celebrating.
The Devils led 2-1 after two periods thanks Tatar’s first multigoal game since April 12, 2021, when he played for Montreal.
After an opening period where New Jersey struggled to get a consistent forecheck or offensive zone time, Tatar took a feed from Ondrej Palat and rocketed a shot past Gustavsson early in the second. Just over three minutes later he redirected a blast from Damon Severson.
Tatar had 15 goals and 15 assists and was a minus-22 last season, his first with New Jersey. This year the left wing has 30 points — 12 goals — and is a plus-28.
Badly outplayed in a 4-1 loss in Dallas on Wednesday and a 5-1 home loss to Vegas on Thursday, the Wild came out with a strong effort and a quick lead when Eriksson Ek redirected a wrist shot by Calen Addison for a power-play marker almost six minutes in.
SUCCESS FROM THE BLUE LINE
New Jersey defenseman Dougie Hamilton had an assist to extend his point streak to seven games. He has five goals and nine assists during in the span. His 37 assists for the season match a career-high set in 2016-17 with Calgary.
Addison’s assist gave him 23 for the season, and it was his 18th power-play point. Both are tops among NHL rookie defensemen.
Devils: At Columbus on Tuesday night.
Wild: Host Florida on Monday night.
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